The big news today is that the Swedish Pirate Party has claimed one of the 18 Swedish seats in the EU parliament. The Pirate Party’s main angle is the loss of privacy due to Sweden’s anti file-sharing and general electronic snooping laws. And, of course, they want to let us download stuff, which is always nice.
We sure as hell need these guys in the dialogue; they gained over 7% of the Swedish vote and therefore they are speaking for quite a few people. And now perhaps the other parties will take this topic a bit more seriously.
Here’s a related link to generate some hits. And here’s what I think:
In Sweden Culture is heavily subsidised. An article in some newspaper some time ago (you can tell I lost the link, can’t you?) showed how much of every opera/theatre ticket is paid for by the customer, and how much by the state. In some cases, half or more of every ticket is covered by grants and state handouts. And the biggest subsidies are always available for Culture, with a big C.
Now most people don’t avail very often of Culture with a big C. Most of us however often avail of culture with a small c. And these days a huge chunk of this culture is consumed online.
So if the point of subsidising culture is to increase people’s exposure to it, then shouldn’t the state be reducing the funds going to opera and interpretive dance and instead making it harder for their citizens to be sent to jail for downloading and uploading bad TV shows?
Obviously the people who define “Culture” are the ones making the rules here. And they are completely out of touch with the times – culture has moved online.
So let’s do this: let the state divert a small portion of our tax money from High Culture to the eternally whining publishers and let us all get on with the business of entertaining ourselves in the way we want to.
And here’s why: you don’t mess with the download community. Because as well as being smart, technical and flush with cash, we also have a wicked sense of humour and will always find a way to get around your snivelling attempts to tell us what to do. We could pay for downloads; we just don’t feel like it. But we will happily cough up a few million to ship a dead horse to somebody who pissed us off.
Technology moves faster than the law and always will. Please, continue to waste your time, but the Pirate Bay will sit in a cushy prison, have their fines paid by volunteers like me who like to stir the shit, and afterwards they will enjoy eternal fame. File-sharing is here and it’s staying and no tight-arsed law is going to change that. Adapt or die.
And maybe if we share enough files we will, as a bonus, get rid of all the “artists” who only make music and write books because they get paid and not because they love to do it.