Danny Tyree: Internet piracy: Is the free ride over?
Yes, I dutifully affix my copyright notice to my column each week, and I’ve been known to notify the syndicate of suspected unauthorized use; but I haven’t gotten anywhere near as persnickety (or creepy) as the entertainment industry.
According to CBS News, the motion picture industry and music industry (unable to get sterner anti-piracy measures passed by Congress) have pressured the nation’s five largest internet service providers into helping them launch the Copyright Alert System (also known as “Six Strikes”).
With “he sees you when you’re sleeping” accuracy, the group is monitoring your activities on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, and a series of increasingly emphatic warnings will be unleashed if anyone using your internet address is caught trafficking in copyrighted materials.
An organization called the Center for Copyright Information is coordinating the program. Their indoctrination campaign also includes bombarding elementary schools with literature instructing the students to forget everything they’ve ever learned about SHARING. I understand that future goals include the elimination of “ma’am,” “please” and “excuse me” and the introduction of the teamwork-building game “The Class Pet And A Ball Peen Hammer: It’s Time They Met.”
The Copyright Alert System participants want the consumer to realize that the idea of “getting something for nothing” just won’t fly. So the Hollywood progressives, who overwhelmingly support federal programs that offer certain constituencies free food, free rent, free education and free birth control want us to realize that you can’t get something for nothing??? That script is just TOO unbelievable!
Yep, no one should be sponging off the hard work and creativity of another person (say a composer or director), unless that person happens to be running a family business and needs his taxes raised out the yin yang to pay for someone else’s free birth control, etc.!
Of course we’re not supposed to focus on the headline musical acts and “$20 million per” movie stars. This is all for the “little people” of the industry. So, for those of you who came in late, the folks who derided Pres. Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics are advocating “trickle-down” economics!
The Center For Copyright Information wants us to get it into our noggins that “everybody is doing it” is no excuse for illicit file sharing — although “everybody is doing it” seems to be the rationale behind the entertainment industry’s headlong rush to ever raunchier content and its arcane bookkeeping strategies (“If we can just get a patent on actual flying monkeys AND sell Toto on Craigslist, in another six years ‘The Wizard of Oz’ should break even.”)
We’re supposed to get the message loud and clear that copying the entertainment industry is bad — unless the entertainment industry does it itself, with endless sequels and remakes. (Join us in 20 years for the blockbuster “A Good Day To Die Hardly Recognizing Your Loved Ones.”)
The Center For Copyright Information wants us to do some soul-searching: “What if everybody really DID engage in file sharing and ‘ripping’ of CDs? What if the creative talent took their bat and ball and went home? What would you do then, huh, huh?”
“I guess I’d try scratching the surface of mankind’s 5,000-year accumulation of copyright-free art, music and literature.”
“Hey, that was supposed to be a rhetorical question, you hayseed dummy!”
Danny Tyree welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org.