It’s no secret that I was once an evil, conniving, monstrous pirate. I sailed the seven seas of the internet in search of amazing cyber-booty. I haven’t been that in a while, instead choosing to preach the virtues of Open Source software and Creative Commons media over considering it a small rebellion to steal from the MPAA or RIAA. Yes, they are both notoriously evil organizations that only exist for the purpose of destroying American Liberty, but if you are honest with yourself, you are still stealing, and we should stem the tide of that.
The 10 Strikes Bill – Better than the Rest
The 10 Strikes Bill (you can read it here) is basically a government smack down on web streaming of copyrighted material. In and of itself, it isn’t a particularly heavy-handed or unnecessary bill. There are literally dozens of illegal streaming sites out there, profiting from the creative works of others. It is the bill’s intent to target those sites, and not the people using them, that makes it a much more effective and well written bill than past anti-piracy laws.
The hoopla surrounding it these days comes from the grossly misinformed or the criminally insane. You can go and watch YouTube videos by teenagers about how it is infringing on their rights as citizens (it isn’t), or about how it’s designed to lock up kids who watch videos on the internet (it’s not). The criminally insane, or rather the diabolically devious talking heads on the left side, are trying to claim that it is going to send us all packing back into the stone age of television, when Betamax was still a contender.
What it Does Do
First of all, 10 Strikes is not creating any new laws, those laws are already clearly in place, and desperately in need of an update to the 21st century. What it does do is redefine what entails a violation of copyright. It changes the definition of copyright violation from literally “making a copy” to “distributing to the public.” The change is subtle, but important in the modern era, where websites like the now defunct Fastpass.tv have thrived. It turns streaming video you don’t have permission to stream a crime.
This isn’t a law targeting you, like other anti-piracy laws have been. This is a law targeting black market websites. It is an anti-bootlegging law. It’s a law set in place to take out the dealers, not the buyers. There are already laws in place to throw your ass in prison for owning illegal copies of copyrighted material, and they’ve been around basically forever.
Why 10 Strikes is Good for America
In my lifetime, I’ve noticed a couple of trends in the way media gets distributed:
- First, some nerdy guy thinks to himself, “Man, I could really use a new way to get a hold of shit for free.”
- Then, he creates it, sharing it with a few close personal friends across the globe.
- Soon, it become popular enough that everybody knows how to use it, so rich people who make movies/music/comic books, etc., start to get nervous about piracy and loosing 1-2% of the billion dollar empires.
- Shortly afterwards, the government steps in, sending out the nefarious MiBs to hunt down anyone using that service.
- Finally, it becomes the new standard of distribution for the media industry.
To me, the 10 Strikes bill gives the industry a bit of confidence in streaming media that the didn’t have before. Netflix and Hulu have already proven that it is a marketable outlet, and this law gives them the government’s gun-monkeys to back them up and protect their IP. That means more shows and movies streaming online.
The MPAA and it’s ilk are still evil
Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that the MPAA and the RIAA satanic cults. I’m not advocating laws to protect their stranglehold monopoly on the world. What I am defending is the intellectual property rights of the creators and artists that are out there. As technology continues to expand, movie studios, record labels, and book publishers become more and more a thing of the past, they will phase out on their own in the next 20 years or so. The problem is, without those giant umbrella conglomerates, the artists won’t have anyone to fight for them, and the laws need to protect them as they stand alone.
10 Strikes isn’t a bill that destroys the freedom of Americans and gives power to evil corporate monopolies, it’s a bill that ensures that independent artists can survive in the future.