Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

Moderated by Jason Hiner | January 29, 2012 -- 16:47 GMT (08:47 PST)

Summary: SOPA-like legislation wasn't the right way to fight piracy. But won't a better solution still require some compromises?

Lawrence Dignan

Lawrence Dignan

Decidedly Yes

or

A Resounding No

Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker

Best Argument: A Resounding No

Closing Statements

There needs to be a middle ground

Lawrence Dignan

The Internet should be open and free and all that wonderful stuff. But the reality is that piracy is out there and there has to be some common sense guidelines to prevent it. Why? If there are no incentives to create great content you'll be stuck with crap. Where the debate should really focus on is how some middle ground can be achieved. SOPA was a debacle that was created behind the scenes. Unfortunately, government and common sense are two things that often don't go together.

 

It's not the tool that needs fixing

Zack Whittaker

The Internet should be free and open. Tea tastes better with a dash of milk. Cows like water. It's a given, really. Instead of censorship and domain-name blocking, change needs to come from the very heart of who we are and what we do. Just because you hit your thumb with a hammer doesn’t mean you punish the nail. It’s not the tool that needs fixing. It’s us. Ultimately, our behaviour needs to change, and with that, the music and film industry needs to adapt first. Censorship is for the oppressive regimes. Let’s not bring China’s firewall to the United States, please. 

 

Don't punish those who play by the rules

Jason Hiner

I'm really glad that we did this debate and brought some reasonable dialog to what is a highly-charged and often irrational subject. Ultimately, Larry is right that the Internet is badly in need of some common sense guidelines to help protect copyright holders in order to incent people to create, innovate, and market their products. But, as Larry also pointed out, getting today's governments to produce common sense guidelines is a rare if not impossible thing. As a result, giving up any freedoms to fight piracy usually ends up punishing the people who already play by the rules, while the pirates find new ways around the rules. For that reason, Zack is on the right side of this one.

 

Talkback

90 comments
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  • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

    Industry "talking points" don't convince me.<br><br>I have some sympathy for the MPAA members, but I don't have any for the RIAA members.<br>All of these so-called "anti-pedo" and "anti-piracy" laws, are deliberately worded to facilitate abuse, by Corporations and the Government.<br><br>Money that isn't paid to the multi-national media companies, can be spent at local businesses.
    lehnerus2000
    Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
    • Three Impacts

      @lehnerus2000

      After reading the debate and having followed this issue closely, while I do agree with Larry's points, he looks to be missing something critical.

      The internet is comprised of what I call three buckets:
      1. Economic
      2. Social
      3. Communication

      There is a lot of overlap betwixt these depending on the specific use.
      I am seeing almosy all of Larry's points factor in Economic.
      Zack's spread more across all three (EU background?).

      Then I have one last question: Why should the USA become the "policeman" of the internet?

      I'm voting a resounding "No".

      Nice debate :)
      rhonin
      Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
  • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

    No, no and no. The way I see it, the fight against piracy is just a front for something more sinister: the control over content and distribution by governments and corporations.
    Jean Chicoine
    Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
  • A Dose of Reality

    I don't claim ignorance of the fact that piracy causes lost revenues, but let's be realistic. Those pushing the legislation claim piracy is causing missed revenues. What about local libraries? They provide media for no cost (which could subsequently be copied) to a any number of people. What about Joe Smoe's video store? Is he really paying royalties to the movie studios whenever he rents a video out... especially considering he bought the video at Wal-Mart? What about Bootleg Bobby that drives up to my office every Thursday with last week's newest release? Is this legislation going to shut him down? Now if the legislation passes, I wonder how people will ever find another venue to "back-up" their media from...

    This legislation is just a golden ticket for the media industry to get what it wants the way it did in the golden years.
    AnAccountICreated
    Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
    • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

      @AnAccountICreated I don't believe the claims that piracy causes lost revenues; at least, not piracy at the individual downloader level. Sure, big "DVD factories" (located in Third World nations and China, usually) might be causing *some* lost sales, but generally the prices that *can* be paid in those places are a tiny fraction of the retail prices of the "legitimate" products. Furthermore, the RIAA's figures claiming revenue loss have been shown to be mathematically impossible, and are predicated on the theory that every single human using the Internet would spend his or her entire annual income on music CDs if only piracy didn't exist.<br><br>It's all a lot of lies made up by Marketing departments and lawyers.
      Morely
      Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
    • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

      @AnAccountICreated In response to your whole query about rental stores, WE DO in fact have to pay royalties for every video rented. It's very heavily monitored and can get heavy repercussions if anything funny happens. If you make money off of media, you have to pay royalties.

      Personally I'm keeping an open mind until the debate. No point going in headstrong.
      Gavello
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

        @Gavello If that's the case (all across the board), then I am corrected. I know of one video store in my town which I would seriously question whether or not they actually pay such fees, and I'm 99% sure my parent's friend back in the VHS days wasn't doing so... hence my rant.
        AnAccountICreated
        Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
      • There are thieves everywhere

        @AnAccountICreated
        [i]I know of one video store in my town which I would seriously question whether or not they actually pay such fees[/i]

        And just as there are those who do illegally pirate stuff to pocket the savings, there will be stores like the one you mentione that will, too.

        Just as there are alot of people who are honest and don't pirate, they pay their share, there are stores that are honest and pay their share.
        William Farrel
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

      [i]@AnAccountICreated In response to your whole query about rental stores, WE DO in fact have to pay royalties for every video rented. It's very heavily monitored and can get heavy repercussions if anything funny happens. If you make money off of media, you have to pay royalties.[/i]

      So if you sell a used CD or DVD from your own personal collection on ebay and make a profit, are you going to write to the content creators and offer them a big cut?

      lol... :D
      ScorpioBlue
      Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No
      • RE: Should any Internet freedom ever be sacrificed to fight piracy?

        @ScorpioBlue
        Game, set, match!
        They always seem to forget these things.
        Sceptical Observer
        Reply Vote I'm for A Resounding No