Torrents of Bits, Fuck This.

Finally, a lucid, practical, and mature comment on file sharing (or stealing — depending on who you talk to):

"’We have to try as an industry to get ahead of this and give the
audience an attractive model before the illegal file-sharer providers
meet their needs,’ said David F. Poltrack, CBS Television’s executive
vice president for research and planning."

Link: The New York Times > Arts > Television > Steal This Show.

Honestly, though, who has the time to steal television? Or, more to the point, who has the time to watch the television they’ve stolen or listen to all that pirated music? As the zen master says: If a ripped DVD is played in the forest and nobody is there to watch it, is it really stolen?

It’s an interesting, lively issue, with serious consequences in the arenas of economics, free expression, and personal liberty, yes, I do not doubt. But the more I think about it, and despite that I should be personally invested in it, I can’t help thinking how easy contemporary life is for many of us (me especially) that one of our most emotional hot-button passionately-driven debates is over the control and distribution of entertainment (or art — once again, depending who you talk to.) Not food or shelter or health care. Send somebody’s kid to Iraq, well that’s troubling, but delete our TIVO’d episode of "the L word" after two weeks and we will take to the barricades. Or, as Tony Soprano and clan would say, "to the mattresses!"

Let the flaming commence …

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3 thoughts on “Torrents of Bits, Fuck This.

  1. “I can’t help thinking how easy contemporary life is for many of us (me especially) that one of our most emotional hot-button passionately-driven debates is over the control and distribution of entertainment (or art — once again, depending who you talk to.)”

    Now this is the most intelligent comment I have heard on this debate.

    I feel that there are so many classics out there that even if I don’t read anything newer than 100 years, I have enough to read in my entire lifetime. There is so much fiction out there I’ll always be able to afford it.

    I try to buy CDs at the band’s concerts only.

    I’m giving away all my software and most of my fiction.

    The only main fear I have is when things are locked up, they can get lost. If a company is putting out a copy of old books and charging for it, then that is great. But if a company is sitting on some good works, then this is a problem as part of our culture gets lost. That’s why I feel they should have an “Orphan Law”…oh the hell with it. I’m going back to the classics…

  2. johnzo says:

    > one of our most emotional hot-button passionately-driven debates is over the control and distribution of entertainment

    I think you have to pick your ‘our’ very carefully in order to make that statement. Certainly, on the Internet, people are passionate about information freedom, but Internet users are still a very self-selected population–and they’re very selective about the news and opinions they consume, so what may appear to be a massive controversy might just be a tiny fringe issue.

    How many times did John Kerry or George Bush talk abou”t information freedom during the last election cycle? If it mattered to people, Karl Rove would know about it.

  3. Mike says:

    Well that’s what I’m saying: using ‘our’ rhetorically here. It’s not a manifesto.

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