Following up from yesterday’s News.com article, Wired News reports that
“The government is preparing a national crackdown on file traders that would crush the rogue swapping networks in the same manner hackers were pushed underground 12 years ago…. Washington lawmakers have been crafting bills that would give the entertainment industry the go-ahead to identify individual users, disrupt file-trading services and prosecute anyone suspected of digital piracy.”
An important point from this article is the fact that in every piece of proposed legislation and action, Congress and the entertainment cartel are assuming the user’s guilt. Every proposed strategy is pre-emptive in nature — it aims to stop you from doing anything that might potentially be illegal, rather than simply punishing you for actually doing something illegal after you’ve done it. This would be like outlawing most cars because you might run a red light or kill someone. Further, you can be persecuted and have your computer and data completely fucked with simply if you are suspected of doing something wrong. Under many of these proposals you would enjoy more protection under the law if you were suspected of mass murder than if you were suspected of pirating software over a p2p network.
The mouth-frothing furvor of the entertainment cartel and their stooge-whores in Congress can only be compared to the drug war or the red scare in the extent of its disconnect from the American public and the absurd extent to which they wish to criminlize the relatively benign behavior of millions of citizens. All the while, it will simply drive the development of peer-to-peer applications and networks further underground, providing a strong incentive to make them harder to track and shut down. Think of it this way — how effective has the drug war been on making it hard to actually get your hands on drugs? Not effective at all — it’s only effective at corraling and imprisoning the unlucky few who get caught. That’s what we have to look forward to if the entertainment cartel and its kept-Congresspeople get their way.
I say, quit buying their wares and don’t vote for these fuckers. Ridding ourselves of our dependencies on them renders them less powerful.