Jail Time

It’s good to see hardened criminals put in their place. Shooters of Jean Charles de Menezes? Still free. Street Photographers? Images deleted without court order; HA! Officers brutalising protesters? Still walkin’ around. Admins of The Pirate Bay? Locked up like they deserve!

Hokay, I’m trivialising. I’m not anti-police (my sister’s fiancée is a copper) and I know folks that work in the force and they’re all sound folks. Saying that though, the G20 riots were a bloody mess of mismanagement and bizarre savagery and require us all to think about the fundamental changes to police procedure that are creeping into effect. Why did officers cover their faces and conceal their ID numbers?

That’s a question for another time though, I want to talk about The Pirate Bay staffers being sentenced to jail for a year, and the fantastic statements given by Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi:

We can’t pay and we wouldn’t pay. Even if I had the money I would rather burn everything I owned, and I wouldn’t even give them the ashes.

That man needs a medal and a suspended sentence. Copyright is fucked, let’s face it. We all breach copyright regularly, especially residents of the UK. I’m fairly sure that my Sky+ box is actually illegal. I know the copies of CDs I make to put on my iPod are illegal, and I think the backups of my music are probably fair game for a civil case too. But that’s the problem, every person thinks as media as ‘theirs’, whilst companies view it as their own and only grant you a license to view/hear/use it. Why shouldn’t we copy media, change it, improve it, destroy it and do as we damn well please?

It all be down to cash, grasshopper. If remittance was offered every time we download a song nobody would have a problem with TPB, but when their revenue stream is disrupted our corporate friends get upset. When they get upset they get litigious, and when they get litigious huge sums of remuneration get bandied about. Is the amount of stuff downloaded via TPB really worth £2.4m? I think it’s probably not. Without dispersal like this a lot of people wouldn’t have bothered. How many people have watched your copy of Firefly for example? Should each of them have to pay the price of the boxed set to watch it?

I know free access to media is unsustainable, but surely we can come up with a better way than criminalising free access to media whilst keeping distribution locked to physical products or digitally restricted ones. Copyright is broken and needs a fix that the people and the corporations can agree on, after all we pay their wages.

In the mean time of course, TPB is still up:

But as in all good movies, the heroes lose in the beginning but have an epic victory in the end anyhow. That’s the only thing hollywood ever taught us.
-The Pirate Bay

Phillip Pullman on Britain

I read this at the Times Online today and I think Mr. Pullman is no the list of my heroes from now on. Below is a brief extract that I simply loved…

It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom would have allowed its government to pass such laws as the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), the Terrorism Act (2000), the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001), the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001), the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Extension Act (2002), the Criminal Justice Act (2003), the Extradition Act (2003), the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003), the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004), the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005), the Inquiries Act (2005), the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005), not to mention a host of pending legislation such as the Identity Cards Bill, the Coroners and Justice Bill, and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Inconceivable.

And those laws say:
Sleep, you stinking cowards
Sweating as you dream of rights and freedoms
Freedom is too hard for you
We shall decide what freedom is
Sleep, you vermin
Sleep, you scum.

Read the article and cry, just fucking cry.

Linked via BoingBoing