Well, right now is the time I should be revising for my exams, what with about twelve days to go before my first one. But right now there is something else more testing on my mind…
Being all in for democracy, equality, fairness, free speech, free money, free choices and general liberty as a whole, there is a recent issue which I think needs to be raised as deeply serious. I know to many many people the issue of internet piracy is a taboo subject and is of course, rightly frowned upon – I myself am not going to give my own views and experience of it here because it is not the point of my post, although being a twenty year-old student, I would be lying to you if I said I’d never exploited the mass source of freely exchangeable information that exists within the internet. I’m sure some of you are aware I’m talking about the recent banning of The Pirate Bay on nearly all the major UK ISP’s. Well, for now, I’m not going to talk about this specific act or anything too much to do with the nature of The Pirate Bay itself, except for the fact that the attempt is quite simply not only futile but utterly pointless and to an extent potentially counter-intuitive in the long term. What I am going to talk about is the principles of the matter and the definite degree of bias and injustice in this frankly naive ruling…
I shall start with this, which I think sums up the real essence of my argument, spoken by the venerable legendary promoter of philanthropy, love and peace himself:
‘Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think
that people own it.’
Who can argue with that?
I’m not going to go on an all-out rant about oppression and censorship and loss of liberty and all that because frankly that blows it all out of proportion, and because, at the end of the day, where we live is still a relatively free, equal and tolerant society. And this is the point. If it was one of those intolerant, oppressive and close-minded cultures ruled by an undemocratic government then there would be little point nagging about the closure of one tiny website because it would just be part and parcel of it. No, the issue is that in this outwardly self-promoting fair, democratic and lawful society where everyone has the right to their say or to fight their corner, certain corruption and hypocrisy takes over and the views of the few ignorant powerful override the beliefs of the masses and injustice – whether knowingly or not – takes precedence.
What really irritates me in this case is that there was no trial, no investigation, no real justification for the closure of the website. Indeed, it does beg the question where will it stop? It seems the people making the judgements had insufficient evidence or knowledge to make it a fair one. I think the people on top miss the point that The Pirate Bay is, in fact, a place not only for the sharing of ‘illegal’ files but also for the promotion of truly free material, especially for music artists who have neither the money or persuasion over big profit-hunting corporations to promote their talent more widely. Here, there is no emphasis on money making, selling, buying, or any restrictive and frankly irritating ‘copyright’ issues. The emphasis is simply on sharing entirely for free with like-minded people a talent and a passion where the only gain is further promotion of and expanding that talent and passion. All, bare in mind, at the expense of a company willing to provide such a service for free. Where is the illegality in that? Apart from the fact that attempting to block a website like The Pirate Bay is like shovelling snow whilst there’s a blizzard, the more one person tries to stop something, the more the masses will resist. Yes, everyone has a right to be rewarded for what they do, but similarly, I don’t think a small group of people have the right to decide how people go about spending their money, and on what, and through what medium, if only because, at the end of the day, as we all know, most big corporations only care about the money. Once they’ve got that, the rest is largely irrelevant.
Perhaps they might have realised that had they geared themselves towards providing what people actually want in the way they want and listening to the fair and humble voices of the many, then people would be more willing to give their money to them, but in fact the paranoia that results from people getting their services elsewhere means they are missing out on making more money, and that is it. Unfortunately this money issue is what governs much of the world, and what governs a lot of governments; we would be lost without it, of course, but it should not provide the backbone of our principles.
To avoid an utterly epic rant, I can conclude with my main point in just a few lines. If the people at the top are supposedly righteous, selfless and just and concerned with the welfare of others more than their own gain, whether that be financially or otherwise, then it is fair enough that they try to righteously, justly and fairly promote the ideology that others do the same. However, if those at the top are responsible for equally selfish acts concerned with their own gain, whether that be financially or otherwise, and without taking note of the judgement of others, then I do not believe they have the right to demand the exact opposite behaviour upon others.
After all how can a company that makes – relatively speaking – next to no money on the services it provides in the way it promises to do so continually and reliably; possibly compare to other companies or national corporations that make money off their own inadequately provided services, misleading promotions, stupid mistakes, immoral behaviour and exploitation of people, and who continue to be rewarded for the effects of these surely equally criminal acts?
The only comparison I can see is that they are blinded by their own clouding of their own moral judgement by other ‘more important’ matters – something, of course, they would outwardly deny. Something which places like The Pirate Bay, just by their very nature, cannot and do not deny.
- The Pirate Bay Speaks Out Against UK Ban, Offers Workaround [The Pirate Bay] (kotaku.com)
- Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters (go.theregister.com)