Thursday, March 25, 2010

Disconnect the Dots

Yeah, I quoted Of Montreal.

The music business is apparently dying because of illegal downloaders. Despite evidence showing that downloaders contribute more to the "biz" than those who don't, there is a very sinister final step about to be made against those internet varmits.

Essentially, if you download illegally, the government has the right to disconnect your internet for an undisclosed amount of time. I believe the going rate is if you illegally download 50 things.

What I have trouble with is not necessarily that this will involve MASSIVE MONITORING OF MY ONLINE ACTIVITIES but the fact that an awful lot of downloading could look to the ominous internet monitors to seem illegal when ethically sound (and what are laws if not applied ethics).

I shall give some examples.

I am an attempted/aspiring music writer. One particular thing I write for is Drunken Werewolf. Now as much as you should check out DW for yourself, I'll give you a brief rundown. It is an independent zine that is free. This is on the basis that music is a very important thing and the artists featured within are worthy of your attention (ie. worthy of whatever money you can spare to spend on music) and therefore it would be perverse to ask for money you could be spending on the bands within.

Simply put, the zine is not for profit neither me, a contributor, nor Tiff the editor expect to gain money from it. Because of this the "production costs" need to be kept to a minimum. This means that if we get a promo copy of an album, it is easier and cheaper for the album to be sent over the web and not through the post. But this means, when- as I did recently- I download the new Magnetic Fields album to review for the new issue of Drunken Werewolf, will the government take the time to ascertain that it is all above board? Because, you see, I've written for over 10 issues of Drunken Werewolf reviewing about 2 or 3 albums per issue. That means that, if the new bill was enforced I would be halfway towards getting my internet cut off. Great.

I also have a radio show for local bands. Because of this I ask a lot of local acts to send me mp3s. Recently, I read on Twitter and facebook that local band Well Wisher had recorded their EP (incidentally, it's very good and they were featured in an article in Drowned in Sound which is cool). So I spoke to the band, got myself a juicy link to download the EP to play on the show. worriedaboutsatan have also sent me an EP to use tracks from. And Borland. And The Lovely Eggs. And Fall Fan Dave and the Laptop Dancers. But yes, when I download these albums/EPs, will the government bother to find out that the artists I'm supposedly "stealing" from have SENT ME THE LINK.

And what about albums/mixtapes/bootlegs that are given away free anyway? the classic examples being QuoteUnQuote Records and the ever more relevantly named You Are Not Stealing Records. Will Virgin Media not see that I've been downloading large album sized chunks of data?

Seriously, there are so many holes that can be poked in this bill. However, what with people trying to urge the bill through without it even being put up to debate, it might not even be prodded.

Seriously, I'm a student and I'm actually considering writing to my MP, how's that for motivation. To bastardise a quote from internet legends don't be an apathetic hipster douchbag, learn about the world and find out how they're trying to take away your internet with little to no reason. Do that here.

1 comment:

  1. He looks a bit like Dr Doom I guess...

    Yay Drunken Werewolf!


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