You remember, back in 1999, Modern Humorist put up this image?
We all had a good chuckle – because essentially this is what the RIAA wanted the world to think! And then there was that “When you pay for MP3s, you’re rocking out with the man” one…it was amusing because, at the time, Napster was still around, AudioGalaxy was still around…it was all one big happy fileswap.
Fast forward about 5 years. File sharing is still “a problem” in the eyes of the industry. Napster and AudioGalaxy have been replaced by the likes of Kazaa and BitTorrent. Lars Ulrich, thank god, has finally learned to stop making the world hate him about this.
What’s a poor defenseless entertainment industry to do, besides raise movie ticket prices ($8.50), cd prices ($18.99), and software prices (Photoshop retail is now – brace yourselves – $599.95)? Why, link file swapping to something absurd.
Really obvious hint – they’ve tried linking drug use to this.
Match Game style hint – if the college students keep swapping files, the _________s have already won.
That’s right, folks, even Charles Nelson Reilly would match on this one – TERRORISM!
WASHINGTON– A congressional hearing on the links between terrorism, organized crime, and the illegal trading of copyrighted material produced more complaints about college students using peer-to-peer networks and other governments sanctioning copyright violations than it did evidence of nefarious connections.
That’s right, folks, YOU, sitting in your home, YOU, with your “broadband” and your “google”, YOU, downloading a random MP3 off of an album you’re never going to be able to buy – it’s YOUR FAULT 3000 PEOPLE DIED IN 9/11.
Representative Robert Wexler, (D-Florida), praised the hearing for highlighting the “disastrous connection” between copyright piracy and organized crime. “I can’t help but sit here and wonder…if parents fully understand the ramifications of what it is to steal a movie or pirate a song,” he said. “If more American parents understood the connection between the pirating of intellectual property and organized crime, I think then there’d be a much more effective public relations response in our own country to better appreciate the disastrous ramifications.”
Do parents understand it? Of course they do. Give a parent these two options:
A – Johnny downloads that happening new song everyone’s been talking about.
B – Johnny begs for 4 days to be given the $20 he needs to go and buy it, as well as being driven to the mall and back.
What parent isn’t going to save themselves an hour of their time and $20 of their hard earned cash?
Furthermore, I’d like to know what the disastrous ramifications of choice A are – and not “harm the music industry” ramifications that have been beaten to death, but ORGANIZED CRIME RAMIFICATIONS. Is Johnny going to start having to run drugs because he listens to Ja Rule? Is he going to get into a protection scheme? Is he going to join the Yakuza because he keeps listening to crappy j-pop? Is he going to become “made” if he downloads enough albums?
(Side thought: Perhaps if organized crime would wipe out those people listening to Mariah Carey, we would STOP a form of terrorism. She’s already attacked our country with Glitter; how much longer will we let this tyrant exist?)
Representative John Carter, (R-Texas), suggested that college students would stop downloading if some were prosecuted and received sentences of 33 months or longer, like the defendants in the DOJ’s Operation Buccaneer. “I think it’d be a good idea to go out and actually bust a couple of these college kids,” Carter said. “If you want to see college kids duck and run, you let them read the papers and somebody’s got a 33-month sentence in the federal penitentiary for downloading copyrighted materials.”
And herein lies the biggest laugh of the entire article. Is he not aware that college kids HAVE been busted? That the RIAA has threatened a lawsuit against practically every college in the USA? That it hasn’t made a lick of difference?
Welcome to 2003, The Year Of Disillusionment.