The wrong side of history
This template for the SOPA blackout (the one we used) was created by Zachary Johnson.
Depending on where you live, you might not be able to read the thought-provoking polemic posted by the Pirate Bay yesterday, so here it is in full. It’s well worth reading.
INTERNETS, 18th of January 2012. PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.
Because of Edisons patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North american east coast. The movie studios therefor relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent.
There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them - like Fantasia, one of Disneys biggest hits ever.
So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations - it’s all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules.
The reason they are always complainting about “pirates” today is simple. We’ve done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between each other, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them).
It’s all based on the fact that we’re competition.
We’ve proven that their existance in their current form is no longer needed. We’re just better than they are.
And the funny part is that our rules are very similar to the founding ideas of the USA. We fight for freedom of speech. We see all people as equal. We believe that the public, not the elite, should rule the nation. We believe that laws should be created to serve the public, not the rich corporations.
The Pirate Bay is truly an international community. The team is spread all over the globe - but we’ve stayed out of the USA. We have Swedish roots and a swedish friend said this:
The word SOPA means “trash” in Swedish. The word PIPA means “a pipe” in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence. They want to make the internet inte a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to therest of us obedient consumers.
The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you’ll learn that no one wants to be fed with trash. Why the US government want the American people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that you will stop them, before we all drown.
SOPA can’t do anything to stop TPB. Worst case we’ll change top level domain from our current .org to one of the hundreds of other names that we already also use. In countries where TPB is blocked, China and Saudi Arabia springs to mind, they block hundreds of our domain names. And did it work? Not really.
To fix the “problem of piracy” one should go to the source of the problem. The entertainment industry say they’re creating “culture” but what they really do is stuff like selling overpriced plushy dolls and making 11 year old girls become anorexic. Either from working in the factories that creates the dolls for basically no salary or by watching movies and tv shows that make them think that they’re fat.
In the great Sid Meiers computer game Civilization you can build Wonders of the world. One of the most powerful ones is Hollywood. With that you control all culture and media in the world. Rupert Murdoch was happy with MySpace and had no problems with their own piracy until it failed. Now he’s complainting that Google is the biggest source of piracy in the world - because he’s jealous. He wants to retain his mind control over people and clearly you’d get a more honest view of things on Wikipedia and Google than on Fox News.
Some facts (years, dates) are probably wrong in this press release. The reason is that we can’t access this information when Wikipedia is blacked out. Because of pressure from our failing competitors. We’re sorry for that.
—THE PIRATE BAY, (K)2012
UPDATE: The reddit thread about this essay is also worth reading.