So the government have managed to persuade a court to have access to The Pirate bay banned. They were persuaded by Digital Rights owners who managed to lobby the government into thinking that music is on it’s last legs unless the public are stopped from copying and ripping music.
The major ISPs have been told to block access to it. How exactly hasn’t been published, but no matter which method is used there will always be a way round it.
If it’s by IP address then the ISPs will be blocking any other website that is hosted on the same server as the Pirate Bay. AnnaRaccoon.com shares her computer with around 2,500 other websites. Now TPB might be so large that they have their own server, but they are also large enough to have multiple servers in different countries. Will all these IP addresses be stopped?
If it’s by URL then then are they stopping all TPB’s addresses. They don’t just reside on www.thepiratebay.org, they have many others too, like thepiratebay.se.
Either way all TPB has to do is change servers and update it’s DNS records or register a new domain and suddenly they are up and running again. If anything it just provides free publicity for TPB. It becomes a game of cat and mouse. The cat will eventually win but only by controlling access to the internet at levels equivalent to the Chinese.
Virgin have said that they are doing it the same way they handle The Internet Watch takedowns. However TIW have not been very technologically literate either when they managed to cause problems with Wikipedia when it was found that it hosted an album cover that was deemed to be offensive.
What does the ban on TPB lead to? Well it leads to the banning of pornography. Because you have to think of the cheeldren. It’s already happened because on Radio4 John Humphrys asked the ISPs why they weren’t blocking TPB to stop cheeldren seeing porn.
But then what is pornography? Is is hardcore or softcore. Is it extreme porn or just normal sex graphically depicted. Or will it be the easy case of banning paedophilia and zoophilia to start with because they can be easily categorised. Or you would think so. Does a cartoon of an anthropomorphic tiger having sex with a woman count? Do cartoons of little girls with big eyes being molested by tentacles count as both?
The get out phrase for the government is that they say they will make it an opt-in process. So you need to tell someone that you would like to watch porn. Therefore it’s not censorship. But do you really need to tell someone who records such an interest. Watching porn is not naturally something that someone wants everyone to know – though nearly everyone does look at porn to some extent. What about a couple where the man ticks the box to allow porn and the wife finds out. Does he really want her to know what he does in the shed?
The big music and film studies are the ones who are the real Luddites. Luddite means someone who is afraid of change especially technological change, not someone who is anti-tech. Rather than accept change in their market and adept to new technology they would prefer to stifle the Internet. When video came out the studies were all worried about copying but look at the film industry now. Copying still happens but people still like to pay to watch the film. It’s just that they don’t like having to pay to have multiple copies of it nor pay to see if they like it.
The studies think that by stopping copying that all the people who are doing the copying will switch to buying the material. At least that’s what the studies say when they bring out the figures to show how much they are “losing”. However some stats show that this is not the case. For instance in France the new Hadopi law (a three strikes type law which cuts of repeat offenders of copying) has been claimed to have cut down copying because the number of torrents has dropped dramatically. However looking at the big picture, it’s not just copying music which has dropped but actual sales as well. If people can’t try before they buy they might not buy at all.
Copying of music and film should be seen as a marketing practise to garner up interest. Some artists do this already; give away most of their music and make their money from merchandise and live shows and other personal appearances.