Yesterday, Frank Field pointed to this:
This is the RIAA, going after intellectual property. Like a drug raid. And we know how well the drug policy has been working the past 50 years. Success all over the place. It's not the drugs or IP that this is about, it's about policy and tactics, those people in the underground economy, and all the societal problems that come with it. Do we really want to go down this path with IP, or figure out a business model that works with digital distribution, not against it?
...and that he had no idea the reporter was calling about the RIAA doing literal raids. Abe Burmeister responds to the distinction between file sharing and CD trading:
He makes a very good point, and one that parallels what happens with drug prosecution and enforcement, when drugs like crack are punishable with far more restrictive sentences than cocaine, essentially reflecting who uses them and their socio-economic status. Course, the poor-folk get the short end of the stick. Though I would argue that there are also major organizations devoted to piracy, not just the small time folks noted in the article. I would disagree that EFF can't be bothered to defend CD distribution of copied music. I think instead EFF has drawn a legal line between these two types of music sharing, and in fact, before the first lawsuits against file sharers, they suggested that the RIAA should sue them. But I think a position they would have the most integrity with is that suing or raiding is untenable, that society would benefit overall from decriminalizing this behavior in favor of a business model that supports file sharing, makes artists money, no matter who does the distribution and by what method. Pushing more people, especially poor people with little resources, further into the criminal justice system, further into the underground economy, is a mistake those people can never recover from. There is no growth or advancement for a person in the underground economy, there is almost no chance to educate or buy a house or make a stake in society for themselves, their children or improve their neighborhoods. It's bad public policy and should not be supported at all.Posted by Mary Hodder at January 15, 2004 06:39 PM