2 min read
What we're seeing with 'The Pirate Bay' (TPB) case that's ongoing in Sweden, is not a fight to uphold copyright, but rather a dying institution trying to survive.
What is the case?
TPB is a search engne for torrents. The RIAA alleges that the site aids copyright infringment. TPB is defending itself by stating that they do not host any illegal material, and are doing nothing that Google or any other search engine cannot already do.
So who's right?
I think both sides have a reasonable argument, but this case is bigger than mere copyright infringment.
On the face of it, TPB is morally (and legally) wrong, but let's ask the question: why is TPB so popular?
This is the million dollar question. Like napster and grokster before it, TPB challenges the RIAA in it's content delivery system. You would think that after many legal cases and with new technologies and high rates of broadband penetration that the music and film industry would finally deliver a product in a manner which suits their customers!
The success of Apple's iTunes store would suggest that digital media can succeed, so why is the RIAA so against online delivery?
They believe it's bad for business, but that's nonsense, if anything online delivey can only increase your presence in amy given market.
How does this affect the artist? If anything it could earn them more money and give them a bigger following. Oh wait, is this actually the RIAA's problem?
By empowering the artist, you risk losing them as a client and thus losing a valuable income stream. So what do you do? You control the access. Sites like TPB provide access to anyone and therefore compete
with the record labels.
I think the content creators and those who wish to distribute that content need to strike a balance. Today you can gve stuff away for free and still make money from other revenue streams.
For instance, provide your singles for free, but sell the album or promote your merchandise.
The last thng anyone should consider doing is imply that your paying customers are stealing your content, and that's what you see every time you go to the cinema!