What’s in a name #2

Okay, so calling copyright infringement “piracy”, which seemed like a good idea at the time, seems to have inadvertently glamourised the practice:

“To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we’re talking about a criminal act. We’re talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do,” she said.

Well, no, we’re not, that’s shameless garbage based on the fatuous and obviously false claim that any instance of infringement equals one lost sale, but what are you going to do about it? Ah, you’re going to try to redefine the word “theft”:

Speaking at a very different event in Abu Dhabi last week, Rupert Murdoch’s son James did his part to redefine the sexy “pirates” as common thieves and nothing more. “There is no difference with going into a store and stealing Pringles or a handbag and taking this stuff,” he said. “It’s a basic condition for investment and economic growth and there should be the same level of property rights whether it’s a house or a movie. The idea that there’s a new consumer class and you have to be consumer-friendly when they’re stealing stuff. No. There should be the same level of sanctity as there is around property. Content is no different. They’re not crazy kids. No. Punish them.”

It’s considerably different, James. Theft involves depriving someone of physical property. Copyright infringement involves duplicating data. They are entirely different offences, covered by different legislation, and with differing penalties. Corporations may pretend not to be able to tell the difference between the two, but most people can.

But that’s the problem with corporations: they reckon they’re the most important entities in the community, and demand that offences against them be treated more seriously than offences against any ordinary person. After all, they’ve got so much more money! They employ people! Therefore, whatever they want, they should get. That’s why copyright terms keep getting extended – it doesn’t matter that it decimates the public domain, that it completely contradicts the purpose for which copyright was devised in the first place, all that matters is that some inhuman sponge gets to own and control more of our common heritage.

Copyright infringement is no more “theft” than it is “piracy”. No matter how much money they spend trying to jam their self-interested redefinition down our throats, that doesn’t make it true.

(Via LGWS.)

ELSEWHERE: With the US Trade Representative as its willing pawn, the corporate copyright industry is about to get an international treaty passed that really screws over the world’s poor – and the rest of us.

AND VIACOM: is exposed putting its own videos on YouTube under fake identities and then complaining about them and demanding they be taken down. And then suing Google.

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3 responses to “What’s in a name #2

  1. The problem is that these corporations illegally collude to keep prizes up, so when people realize they can get some of their money back they don’t feel like thieves or pirates. And nor should they.

  2. just blather from an idiot son…

    as you pointed out, they were the ones calling it piracy to begin with. now they want a new name because it backfired

    we dont accept your dracionian definition of copyright…bombs-away, fight to the death capitalism isnt so sweet when you can’t write the rules, is it

  3. Pingback: Sorry, cultural freedom trumps religious control | An Onymous Lefty

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