This past week some of the biggest internet companies in the world, along with the solidarity from masses of the American public, protested and killed the induction of the SOPA/PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect IP Act) bills into the House of Representatives. This dealt a blow to the entertainment industry who has been fighting for legislation on online piracy since the internet began. But, the day after the protests, the FBI and other foreign policing agencies, raided the home of Megaupload.com founder and multi-millionaire Kim Dotcom (Schmitz), and seized all of his assets.
Megaupload.com was a file sharing website that allowed some of its users to gain access to unpaid for copyrighted material. You would be able to file share and get faster download speeds if you became a paying member. Dotcom received most of his money from selling advertising. Megaupload.com consumed about 4% of the worlds internet traffic, getting about 50 million hits on the site a day.
Honestly, I don't care!
Before I get into the obvious elephant in the room, I want everyone to understand something. The entertainment industry, much like the sports industry, isn't as glamorous as everyone makes it out to be. Before you vilify Kim Dotcom, you have to understand the abuse and damage that the music industry has done to most, if not every, one of the various types of artists it "employees."
I probably could write a book about the horrific things that the entertainment industry does and has done to artists. Signing them and then leaving them to dry but making them pay for signing bonuses that need to be paid back, paying them pennies for every record sold, forcing them to sign multi-album contracts and then leaving them on their own effectively making them a slave to the label, just to name a few. I wish I knew some books off the top of my head that could drive this point home. I apologize for that, maybe one day I'll get back to you on that. (Just being honest.)
It's funny how you don't hear anyone "entertainers" complaining about piracy, besides that moron from Metallica who was being paid very well by the industry. I know that it is something that they would like to avoid, but the theft that occurs from their bosses can be and usually is much worse. Don't be become callous because you see your favorite star in an awesome house or car that you wouldn't be able to ever afford. If they have millions, just imagine how much the people who OWN them make and what they have. Don't worry, you cant!
But I digress for a moment.
It was September 2008. Months after our Republican President and Presidential candidates had been pandering again and again that: "The fundamentals of our economy are strong," we had the worst financial crisis since the great depression. Basically, some already rich guys at investment banks figured out how to bundle up toxic loans, that they had been predatorily given to people who they knew were going to default on them sooner or later, into AAA credit rated stocks and sold them over and over and over again, making billions of dollars in the process. Eventually there was a systemic default on all of those loans. The banks and everyone who had been betting that they were going to do well, had lost all of that money, from the investment banking corporation at least. They had kept the money that they had made for themselves, but made all the banks and everything connected to them (the rest of the country's credit and wealth), collapse.
By the way, the President, even after he had realized he made a huge mistake, convinced the country and it's legislative representative, to give banks a $700 billion dollar welfare check (With interest, the total actually comes out to be about $1.2 trillion dollars), with which they used to shower themselves with bonuses and not free up credit to consumers, thus we began the Great Recession.
I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like real thievery, especially considering the toll it has taken on the country and the world as of this very second. Even now, no one has been charged or brought up on charges. Hell, some of the people who are responsible either still have their jobs, or WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT!
So, you're telling me that if I become a banker and destroy the worlds economy, I can get away with it, and not only get away with it, receive a welfare check then the people who are on welfare get annually, combined! But, if I download a shitty movie from the internet you raid my home and seize all of my assets. How does that make any sense? What kind of a world do we live in where stealing copyrighted material from people who steal copyrighted material and get rich off of it is a worse crime then people who steal from hard working people and economies OF THE WORLD? And not only stole it, but didn't even go to trial, didn't even have go through an investigation, or even get charged or brought up on charges?
I'm even to the point to where I don't even believe that downloading copyrighted material is even stealing, especially if I'm not making profit off of the copyrighted material. How can the entertainment industry lose money on something they never spent money on anyway? Meaning, the album that I downloaded costed nothing to the record label, it's just one person in the targeted demographic that didn't buy the album. I could understand if there was a epidemic of retailers getting DVD's stolen from the electronic sections of their stores, but this is no where near that level. How can you account for people who download music as a lose? Most of the time the people who downloaded the material end up purchasing it at a later date.
I'm sorry, but I don't have any apathy for an industry that makes more than $50 billion dollars a year on average and is complaining about money that they think they theoretically could have made. The fact that they have been using a good portion of that money to buy up Washington adds to my antipathy. I agree and understand that the people who put their heart in soul into their product want to and should be properly compensated for their work. If you are not, I would take that up with the people who are making more than $50 billion dollars off of your work, not completely censor the internet like the Chinese do.
I have an idea for the FBI, how about you start locking up the real criminals who actually stole a good portion of this nations wealth and stop worrying about a group that can surely worry about itself. Unfortunately, if we did that then almost every elected official from both parties would be in jail and all of the investment banks wouldn't have any employees besides the janitors and security guards. On second thought, that might be the way to go.