Good post from gendo.nl:
Internet, Privacy, Copyright; Choose Two
The Dutch Considerati think tank reported earlier this week that there is still widespread downloading in the Netherlands. But for an allegedly ‘broad’ piece of research, some key parties were missing – Bits of Freedom, for example. Nor did the study consider fundamental questions about the social or economic value of copyright that lasts for more than a century (when once it only lasted for 15 years), probably because those ordering the report did not want that question asked, let alone answered. There was also no mention of the copyright industry aggressively lobbying behind closed doors where laws are hammered out that our European representatives are not even allowed to see, let alone influence.
The entire debate is reduced to a financial accounting exercise for a particular industry. So all is perfectly OK then, as I have nothing to do with it – I don’t work in that industry – nor indeed do the vast majority of people. The comments on Webwereld.nl quickly show that almost nobody takes such research seriously.
A lawyer from the American RIAA recently added some colour by saying that the public domain blocked free market capitalism. So much honesty can be scary sometimes. But the recent high point of the “e”G8 meeting in Paris was when Sarokozy and a few captains-of-industry gathered to decide what we should be allowed to do with our internet in the future. In response, a few uninvited representatives of civil liberties organisations held their own press conference (video – Lessig sums it up nicely from 7:00 minutes onwards).
These examples make it absolutely clear that the idea of any reasonable discussion with these vested interests is pure fiction. ….
Internet, Privacy, Copyright; Choose Two.
We can have the internet with the current functionality and openness while maintaining the right to privacy and free speech – but maintaining a 20th-century copyright model at the same time is impossible. Or we could give up our privacy and other civil rights to allow one specific industry to earn money in the same old way for a little longer. A last option would be to switch off the internet. But that is not realistic: a country like the Netherlands could not survive a day without the internet, any more than it could survive without electricity.