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Re: <nettime> Pirates of the Internets unite/Re: the dawning of internet
James Wallbank on Sat, 20 Jun 2009 19:47:33 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Pirates of the Internets unite/Re: the dawning of internet censorship in germany

Bravo Miltos!

There's another public position which could be taken which might move in 
the same direction, towards freedom of information and cultural content. 
How about campaigning to refuse, absolutely, to listen to or view any 
music, video, or use other data which is not legally copyable and 

This position could lead to huge boycotts of cinema and the record 
industry, a massive boost for free content creators, and a blossoming of 
interest in making your own cultural content.

In Victorian times every pub in the UK had a piano. People would make 
their own music. Now, every pub has a jukebox and every kid downloads - 
listening to professional, corporate music like it's a drug, wallowing 
in their own cultural passivity.

Freedom to download other people's stuff doesn't necessarily lead to 
more cultural engagement - in fact, it may lead to less!

Sure, it may be that "home made" cultural content is less polished (and 
some people - not me - might argue that it's of lower quality) but the 
experience of making it, and the critical and creative skills developed 
by trying to create, are far more important. The process is more 
significant than the product.

Perhaps, now is the time to WELCOME an "anti-piracy clampdown". Bring it 
on - it's the commercial content industries deciding, finally, to exit 
the mainstream culture and marginalise themselves! More DRM, more 
YouTube takedowns, more aggressive threats and prosecutions of music 
fans are simply the death throes of an industry that exists on the false 
claim that it owns creativity.

While I'm here, I'd like to make an observation about the term "Music 
Piracy". Pirates are armed criminals, that steal, abduct, threaten and 
kill. A bedroom downloader isn't a pirate, in the same way that someone 
who parks outside the marked bay isn't a "Parking Rapist", and someone 
who puts the wrong postage on a stamp isn't a "Postal Murderer". 
"Piracy" as a term for petty fee avoidance is an outrageous piece of 
manipulative Newspeak.

For more than ten years now I haven't used any commercial software, and 
I haven't felt in the least bit tempted to pirate commercial software. 
Why? Because I've become involved in the richer, more interesting and 
more empowering world of free software.

Maybe now its the time to campaign, not for "Freedom to Pirate" but for 
"Open Culture": let's abandon all music and film whose creators don't 
welcome our interest. I'd rather make my own tunes or listen to the 
birds singing than give any attention to bands who don't want me to 
listen for free.

Best Regards,


Miltos Manetas wrote:

> This is the time for the Foundation of an International Pirate Party
> like the one the PirateBay brought forward in Sweden and which got 2
> seats at the Europarliament.

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