New anti-piracy laws, what’s it all about?

The Center for Copyright Information’s Jill Lesser told Wired in February there will be new anti-piracy laws in place by the end of the year. Essentially, the Internet Service Provider will be able to notify you, and eventually “throttle” your Internet connection if they detect copyrighted content is being downloaded illegally through P2P networks. There has been a lot of huffing and puffing from those who are against this new legislation, citing all sorts of personal privacy complaints yada yada yada, but in a conversation I had with one of the opposers, the only thing it seemed like he was mad about was the fact that he’d lose all his free stuff.

Too bad.

I dont feel bad that these people have to pay an extra 10 bucks to buy the new Bayside album. It doesn’t bother me, and I’m not trying to stand on a pedestal and say I’m a better person than those who snag music for free, I’m just saying it’s stupid for those people to argue that you shouldn’t be punished for committing a crime.

The major reason the other side is pissed on this issue is because it jeopardizes their ability to skip lines in movie theaters, save trips to Best Buy, and most importantly, not pay for the stuff someone else put the time to produce. The fact of the matter is, downloading albums and movies off sites like Frostwire and other P2P sites are illegal, period. End of Story. There is no other argument to be made to defend that. It is a crime, it is theft, and there is no reason it should not be punished. The reason it has taken so long to put one of these sorts of blockades in place is because:

  1.  there wasn’t an effective way to measure the actual content being downloaded without violating certain privacy laws,
  2. those who used the P2P networks were doing anything in their power to prevent this from happening.

The Wall Street Journal put out an article a couple days ago that shows that movie theaters and Hollywood have seen an increase of 6-10 percent in sales after the P2P network Megaupload and Megavideo were shutdown last year. Heaven forbid the people who spend millions of dollars producing a movie or an album want to see a little bit of money from their work.

The original purpose of P2P networks as my opposition told me the other day was to help speed up the time it took to download a file that was free to download and accessible on the Internet by providing more than one host. The key phrase there: free to download and accessible. While some of the files being downloaded and shared across P2P networks are perfectly legal, because they are free content or the original producer has given permission, an overwhelming majority of the content that is being downloaded is not free and is copyrighted by the original producer. 

It really is too bad that people are actually trying to block legislation like this to ensure the ability to steal. Over the next 20 years, the United States and the world are going to see this sort of legislation, and this sort of battle, continue to happen as more content becomes available over the Internet.

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About joemartin2014

J-student at Arizona State University, and pursing a minor in business as well.

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