Steal this film

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Following on from the Darknet post the other day, here’s some more on piracy in Sweden (and beyond). This 30 minute film gives a view of the P2P landscape (and especially the ‘bust’ on PirateBay – a major bittorrent site).

Obviously, given the group that produced the film, it’s coming at the argument from a certain direction. But there are some interesting bits in there.

I was surprised at the power that Hollywood has over the US government, and subsequently the lengths that they went to in order to ‘persuade’ the Swedish government to act against Pirate Bay. The backlash that this has generated in Sweden was also interesting, it would appear that many people are enraged by the US interfering and overturning domestic policy (which ultimately has led to the Pirate Party getting massive exposure and a sizable following).
I think the argument that’s put forward in the film that was most interesting talks about the fact that historically musicians were against recorded music, and the film industry was against VCRs. Both groups eventually turned these threats into revenue streams.

One commentator in the film recounts a Chinese proverb along the lines of:

When the wind rises, some people build walls. Others build windmills.

The ancient Chinese didn’t mention the fact that millions of others rush around looting stuff for free in all the confusion, but I guess that’s a much more modern predicament.

When I finished watching the film I didn’t end up feeling like my mind had been moved in either direction. It just made it clear that there really is a war going on, and there’s 2 groups of people who are determined to do things their way until they have to stop… But I did feel that one group was perhaps slightly more innovative and responsive than the other, no prizes for guessing which one.

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