Dear World – Illegal Downloading

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Dear World.

Something had caught my eye recently on the web. It was an article on a website that is not related to Clic in any way. Oh, how exotic of me.

The article in question? It was about how U2’s manager (bonus points for those who know his name before I write it in a minute) stating that illegal downloads is at the end of the road.

Paul McGuinness had written for the Daily Telegraph (though I read the article on Ultimate Guitar, I truly cannot be tamed) and in it welcomed the motion that internet service providers (or ISPs, for those who are fans of initialisms, which is an unpronounceable form of an acronym apparently) in North America for “taking on obligations to stop copyright thefts on their networks” as “good news”, not before adding that the transition from illegitimate to legal methods of acquiring music will happen over time.

McGuinness also suggested that the UK (and coincidentally, Wales) will go down this route after the sovereign state passed the Digital Economy Act last year.

Another thing that McGuinness said in this article was that “fighting free with free” was a bad idea, using Spotify’s recent move of cutting down the free time in an attempt to turn the free users into payers as “a huge challenge”.

I’m not going to get into the whole “illegal downloading of music is wrong” and all that jazz, but I will say what I think on what he said.

I doubt that the ISPs will do miracles with things like this. Is it really the provider’s responsibility to keep reminding their customers not to download illegally? I don’t think so. And besides, if people want something hard enough, and they can get it for free, most likely they’d go for the free option. Well, I say that, I can’t really talk for the whole planet. Yet…

One thing that I will question is this, how will they go through the process of prosecuting the illegal downloaders. As I recall from an age back (well, the early part of February, but that is a while ago now), there was a case where someone was accused of downloading a pornographic film illegally via their computer and IP address and was sent a bill for said content. This person was innocent, and as neither parties backed down, they went to court.

The court, after a while, backed the innocent, adding one statement that seems rather interesting in my eyes.

The quote, from BBC News, stated that an IP address alone “cannot and does not purport to identify the individual who actually did anything.” Or, in (my) idiotic man’s terms, both IP and said content must be on the person (well, on the person’s computer) to warrant an arrest for illegal downloading.

That seems like a big kick up the backside of those who are fighting for justice for illegal downloaders.

Well, it is a fair comment. There are some people who use multiple IP addresses (going from one computer to another, I can’t really describe the way it happens as I can’t remember myself) to hide their true identity. Because many people who would do anything to get stuff for free and do what it takes to hide their true identity. So, without the content in question, it’ll probably be near impossible to get someone for illegal downloading. Well, unless there are ways unknown to me.

That leads me to a new subject. I’ll be honest here, I don’t see a major problem when it comes to downloading music. Why? Well, to me, it’s not the singles or albums that make the artist money, it’s the concerts and all that jazz that get it. From what I remember reading, it is mainly the record label that gets the revenue from the records (feel free to correct my possible wrongness).

That said, and risking the possibility of making me look like a total hypocrite, I do think downloading films and things like that are wrong, since it’s a one-time product most of the time. With music, you’ll have the possibility in going to concerts and other memorabilia. With films, what else is there apart from the film itself? Nothing else that I can see.

I shall end it here, my dear world. Hopefully this was able to fill the hole that was left by two weeks of no Dear Worlds. Happy days, eh?

I thank ye, world.

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Another Day
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