Or/ Do it our way or not at all?

With the Digital Economy Bill causing debate whenever its mentioned, piracy/file sharing/copyright infringement (whatever you want to call it) is always at the top of the list.   Over on Torrentfreak, they are reporting that the RIAA has released a statement regarding piracy and the Haiti appeal (in relation to the charity album released).  The RIAA are alleged to be saying that the fund will receive less money due to the file-sharing of the song and this I would probably say is true.  The RIAA to date have allegedly sued 17,587 people in relation to file sharing and I think if there is a world record to be set, the RIAA have just set it.

Of course on the other side of the fence, there is the pro file sharing argument, which whilst I cannot ever condone, I am desperately looking for a proper justification from just one file sharer as to why to why it’s apparently ok to engage in this activity, regardless of it affects a charity or not.

In respect of the Haiti fund, Torrentfreak may be providing an answer:

..they say that those illegally downloading “We Are The World” are undermining fund raising. However, they leave out the fact that the music industry itself profits big from such charity singles.

So there you go readers, its ok to take away from the fund because (and I quote) “the music industry itself profits big from such charity singles”

I think Torrentfreak have completely missed the point.  Ok, lets say the music industry does take a massive chunk of the profits, let me ask Torrentfreak, is it ok for the remainder to be drained by filesharering?  Surely any donations to the cause are worthy and in respect of marketing and co-ordination of this fund-raising project, the music industry would have to be involved to get the project off the ground and out to the general public.

I would suggest to anyone who believes the music industry shouldn’t profit (and maybe if that’s the case a few examples of this profit) from the fund-raising, simply donate directly.

As I have mentioned before the anti/pro file sharing argument is equally as stubborn on both sides.  To coin a phrase “The unstoppable force meeting the immovable object” I think is very applicable when the RIAA uses emotive words like:

The posting highlights a truly ugly side of P2P piracy – the undermining of humanitarian fundraising efforts via online theft of the “Hope for Haiti Now” compilation.

Source: RIAA Blog

Now really, is that required? Any reasonable person would know that piracy would take away funds from the project, afterall if I downloaded for free instead of buying, then my money (no matter what percentage) would be taken from the fund.  It’s not rocket science after all.  The RIAA in my view makes no friends by trying to use emotive words like “theft”, “undermining”, “humanitarian” and it was very similar to the claims made by FACT in the UK when they claimed piracy was linked to benefit fraud.  The question I asked at the time was, if someone is selling copied movies at a market then that is not “legitimate employment” (and an offence) therefore if that person is claiming benefits, it’s hardly benefit fraud as they are not in gainful employment in regards to legitimacy.

Moving on from the silliness of FACT and back to the RIAA.

We hope that fans will think twice about where they buy their music, but especially charity albums.

I’m sorry RIAA, until you (and the file sharers) come to an agreement of sorts, then you will continue taking people to court and the file sharers will continue to share.  neither of you will budge.   Conversely I would say to the file sharers, think up a better justification for what you are doing, since the arguments Ive seen to date are at best weak and worst just plain vulgar (as is often a case when someone can’t argue).

So whats the answer?  Who knows?  I’ve made suggestions in the past as to how the DEB should be implemented, which (if you didn’t see it originally) can be read here.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com