Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Limewire users of the world, unite!

A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered Limewire to cease functionality of its software (and network) after the RIAA sued for copyright infringement. Limewire is notorious for being a hub of P2P media sharing, and is the latest in a series of RIAA lawsuits against similar companies.

This is ridiculous, and proves even more to me something that I've always thought: current copyright law is RETARDED.

Oh wait, you say, isn't it good to protect people's intellectual property? Sure it is, but the current system has so many flaws and vague rules that you can sue anyone for anything under it. Copyright is a freedom reducer, and is simply a tool that allows copyright holders to become frivolous with their lawsuits.

To change this, the rules regarding fair trade need to be broadened and clearly defined. It should be fair use to use intellectual property as long as:

1. The property is not being used for commercial purposes (i. e. to make money)
2. The property is not being claimed as one's own

That's pretty much all you need. If you're not making money off of it and not claiming it as your own, you shouldn't be violating copyright. Sharing files, over a P2P network, would be counted as fair use under these rules.

So this begs the question: does P2P sharing really cause millions of dollars in lost profits for those record companies? Absolutely not, and no survey of the music industry has EVER shown a decrease in profits after P2P sharing became widespread. In fact, there may even be a NEGATIVE correlation; recording companies may be making even more money nowadays!

P2P sharing serves the portion of music buyers who probably won't buy the music anyways. If those people aren't going to buy the music in the first place, and therefore couldn't possibly account for a LOSS in profit (because they wouldn't be giving any PROFIT anyways). It could also be argued that P2P sharing encourages people to buy more physical music because they are exposed to a greater range of musicians.

Nonetheless, don't listen to the dumbass RIAA when they whine and cry about losing millions of dollars; it's just BS. Share away, my friends!

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