The Obama Administration's Tech Czar, Victoria Espinel, reported two days ago that she wants to authorize wire-taps to stop internet piracy under “certain conditions.” (Notice how I'm not addressing making streaming a video a felony? That's because it's so absurd that I refuse to acknowledge it at this time.) Her wish-list is rather amusing, all things considered. But whatever.
Meanwhile, as Gordon brought it to my attention, a group of 35 researchers found that piracy problems, on the digital sea of silicon many of us ride daily, were not due to a lack of morality but due to global pricing problems.
The response to Espinel's comment from the tech industry has only begun, but the CCIA (Computer & Communications Industry Association) has already fired back, via Ed Black:
“Some in Congress and the White House have apparently decided that no price is too high to pay to kowtow to Big Content's every desire, including curtailing civil liberties by expanding wiretapping of electronic communications. Even the controversial USA PATRIOT Act exists because of extraordinary national security circumstances involving an attack on our country. Does Hollywood deserve its own PATRIOT Act?
This new punitive IP agenda follows just weeks after dictators spying on citizens online was the lead story in every major newspaper. Perhaps the obvious hypocrisy caused someone to decide to wait to announce the US goal of expanding our government’s powers to spy online. A screenwriter could almost market this plot as a comedy—if it weren’t so serious.
Maybe we should be grateful our government only wants to make streaming a song or movie a felony with potential prison time as punishment. What's next, corporal punishment?
This is the latest indication of the extent to which the content industry has infiltrated this administration and managed to turn the Administration's IP agenda into a policy which protects old business models at the expense of consumers, citizens' rights, and our most innovative job creating industries.”
To the Obama Administration: you cannot support network neutrality, but you can support wire-tapping to stop piracy? This is absurd. It's nice to know I was right that you're not out to help us on this subject. You want to make the situation better? Fire Victoria Espinel. She's obviously not the person you should have as your IP Czar.
To the MPAA and RIAA: You both swore to drop prices for your items beginning in the early 2000s. This did not occur; rather, you drove up prices while hoping (in the case of the MPAA) that the DVD code format would save you. When it turned out that all it took to hack that code was a box running Linux and a burner, you came after kids on the internet. You deserve to burn. Fact is, I think we'd be just fucking fine without either of you.