94. How To Ru(i)n A Business: Streaming & File Sharing Better Absorbed Than Fought

19 important takeaways from this documentary:

00:01:00 It’s becoming harder, maybe impossible to encapsulate information into discrete units and sell them.  Says Yochai Benkler of Yale Law School

Hollywood and the individual artists have put a lot of money into making these movies and music (digital products) and so they want to get something back, but the way they are trying to stop the copying now is definitely not working, says Eric of mininova.org

Ever since Napster the music industry has been trying to kill filesharing, says the late Aaron Schwartz, Co-founder of reddit.com

(All the popular filesharing sites of the time) were sued, and in the end the entertainment industry succeeded in driving filesharing technology out of the mainstream. The industry has turned to suing individuals for downloading music without permission. In the 1970s cable news was viewed as a pirate medium, seen as nothing more than a channel that pirated their content and broadcasted it to individuals – piracy pure and simple. Movie studios immediately brought lawsuits against the news studios. The first .mp3 player by Diamond Rio were met with a lawsuit. 

Traditionally copyright lawsuit has just been in civil matter. Criminal infrigement liability – the ability to prosecute you and throw you in jail has been reserved for circumstances of commercial piracy such as making and selling copies of your copyrighted material on the street for a profit. Well, in recent years copyright owners haven’t been satisfied with that and have wanted to reach out against people engaged in non-criminal activity. 

So they have sought to sue people and punish them severely enough so as to essentially intimidate a large number of other people.  –Fred von Lohmann, Attorney, FFF

There is a long history of whatever the encumbant industry happens to be, they’re resisting whatever new technology provides… the video recorder was strongly resisted by Hollywood. The sheet music people resisted recordings. Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs

We recognize that we will NEVER stop piracy. We just have to try to make it as difficult and as tedius as possible and let people know that there are consequences if they’re caught. –Dan Glickman, Chairman of MPAA

The fact that the DVD writer is the new weapon of mass destruction in the world is primarily for the fact that a $50 billion firm can be reproduced at the cost of $0.10-$0.15 

This should not be seen as a singular event in and of itself, but rather a repetition of events that have already happened in the past. –Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum, Bangladore

Mark Getty, chairman of Getty Images once stated that intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century. This is a fantastic quote that can be condensed into a single word: war. This is simultaneously ridiculous and serious.  -Sebastian Lûtgert of Pirate Cinema

00:07:00 Before the arrival of the printing press in the 1800s, information was scarce and relatively easy to control. This economy of scarcity permitted the select few to send information across time and space.

Print brought with it an abundance of information which threatened the control over ideas. This new mass communications technology was seen as the unholy work of the devil.

Printing, moreso than authorship, became associated with rebellion and emancipation, and so printers were hunted down.

00:14:23 What happens when a copying mechanism is invented – be it the printing press or bit torrent – it shapes people habits and gives people completely new ideas how they can work and work together, what they can share, what they can relate to, what their lives could be.

The one technique that brought us (humanity) to where we are is copying.  -Sebastian Lûtgert of Pirate Cinema

00:15:28 Communication – the need to talk to someone – is an act of sharing. The need to listen to someone is an act of sharing.   –Lawrence Liang, Alternative Law Forum, Bangladore

00:15:33 Culture and language is shared through imitating each other. This is how we learn to speak as a baby and how new things come into and spread through society; what keeps us together is that we copy from each other.  –Felix Stalder, Media Theorist

00:17:20 From paper to digital, Joseph Licklider, wanting a better way of improving the distribution of information, initially came up with the idea of creating a network of information sharing computers. The ARPANET, established in 1969, was designed to allow scientists to share computer resources in order to improve innovation. With AARPANET, there was no centralized ‘giver of information,’ and anyone could join the network provided they agreed to abide the rules.

00:19:48 This network was built so that there wasn’t anybody in charge and that everybody has control over their own communications. -the late Aaron Schwartz, Co-founder of reddit.com

00:22:20 One of the main battle grounds in law and technology now is the extent to which it is possible to exclude people from information, knowledge, and cultural goods. The ability to put this information into a container and then say ‘you have to pay me to access this information.’  –

Yochai Benkler of Yale Law School

00:23:45 The entire monetary payment system was built around the idea of the sellers choice to give his or her product/service to someone else for an agreed price.

00:26:00 The war on piracy is failing because of the very fundamental social reason that people like sharing and transforming things, and technology makes this so easy that there is no way of stopping it.

00:28:55 You can sue people forever, but once your product/service is that far out of the bag (on the internet), trying to contain it is hopeless. 

00:34:56 This ability to take and recreate at ease is turning passive consumers into active creators. This suggests a new economic model for society.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For an interesting look into this new economic model for society of how brands exploit your attempt at accessing these information, knowledge, and cultural goods, watch the documentary Generation Like: How Your Quest For Identity & Connection Is Subtly Manipulated by Douglas Rushkoff.]

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