In One Eye

Thursday, June 26, 2003
The RIAA story from the AP.
The embattled music industry disclosed aggressive plans Wednesday for an unprecedented escalation in its fight against Internet piracy, threatening to sue hundreds of individual computer users who illegally share music files online.
I'm struck by the use of the word, "piracy," in this lede (The Courant's headline is "Online Pirates To Face Lawsuits".) especially in light of the fact that those pirates are identified as individual computrer users in the same paragraph.

The original intent of the Internet was exactly for this purpose: to share files. It was to be an open medium in which all users could access other users' data.

In many ways, this whole RIAA debacle is symptomatic of US big business's proclivity to take a good idea and run it into the ground:
  • File sharing is a great idea, but then a lobbying group determines that it's injurious to them so it has to be controlled.

  • The Super Bowl was once a pretty good football game until it became a conduit to sell beer and highlight U2, Shania Twain, Up With People, and New Kids on the Block in mindless and interminable halftimes.

  • The All-Star game was usually pretty entertaining until it became a vehicle to promote jingoistic sentiments right down to the red, white, and blue bases and the American flag displayed on the outfield grass.
Meanwhile, the nation of sheep continues to think that all of this is progress.