Deranged? Hopeful?

The old phrase of "Shit Happens" has always been true, but now in the modern age, I suppose it could be re-tuned slightly to the new version of "Downloads Happen"

I've been playing on the Internet for many many years, and it's always been something that has been available in some form or another, be it information, music, or more recently, TV Shows and Movies.  Hell, even waaay back, I can remember trading games at school on 5.25" floppy discs.  You know, those ones that actually WERE floppy.

Before that, it was mix tapes being shared around the school kids.  "Piracy" is not something new, and since I was 11, it's been readily available.  The Internet just happens to make it more-so.  Instead of giving a tape to the smelly kid in the playground, I can now get a song from that strange guy in Taiwan.

Music, Books, Games, Software, Movies, Shows, Documentaries - if it's been broadcast or exists, you can probably get it illegally.

I'm not here, however to condone nor praise file sharing.  What I AM going to moan about, however, is the Music Industry and, shall we say, their ever-so-amusing demands.

We all know music is big business.  There are charts flying around on the web showing where the breakdown of sales is distributed, for instance:

From Indie
Now, back when the first real target was Napster, the Record Industry decided that music was worth squillions and berjillions.  I kid ye not.  In 2008, the RIAA sued The Pirate Bay, citing 34 case of copyright infringement.  The cost for each one?


Let's look at that another way, I currently have 500 songs on my phone. If I had obtained them illegally, then according to the RIAA, I would owe $191,176,500.

Now, I am fairly sure that their numbers are a little on the screwy side, especially when you can download a track now for something like 49p... In THAT case, my songs would have cost me £245.  I'm not even going to translate from Dollars to Pounds and stuff because lets face it, even in the shitty climate, it's not a big leap to see the difference.

So, Napster came and went, as did many other file sharing/peer-to-peer networks, and, the latest "big name" to be shut down was LimeWire.

As an aside, Limewire should have been renamed VirusWire, because every single computer I've ever repaired downloaded virus from there. Seeded by people trying to stop file sharing?  Possibly...

Tinfoil hats off, with LimeWire gone, the record labels are stomping over the ashes trying to make money from it, and here's the reeeeally funny part that I cannot help but laugh at...

The have been asked to estimate the damages owed to them.

Low End: $400 BILLION.
High End: $75 TRILLION.

To put that a little more into perspective, that high-end figure is more than the entire worlds GDP.  And $400 billion is, shall we say, completely and utterly ridiculous. And I do mean ridiculous - that's more money than ALL the record industry has EVER made EVER since the phonograph was invented.

I'd be interested to know how much these companies would have actually made, were these songs legally obtained.  Even more amusingly, do they actually expect LimeWire to go "Oh shit, you win, here's $400billion, sorry, won't do it again"  Even if LimeWire were owned by the top five world's richest men, that's still "only" $260 Billion.  Putting that into perspective, everyone knows the tale of Bill Gates and the Very Big Wallet... He ranks at number two, with a net worth of just $56 billion.

How to combat piracy?  To be honest, I can't see any way it will ever be stopped, not on an international scale.  Before Napster was gone, there were dozens of other methods of downloading.  And this is just Peer-to-Peer sharing, this isn't even touching on Torrent downloads.  Unless the "copyright people" can get each and every single ISP in the world to block each and every file sharing, torrent hunting site there is - and all the new ones that appear, as they appear - then even THEN, there is nothing to stop the file sharing of twenty years ago making a come back, and everyone passing their stuff to others, to pass to others...

So, in ten years time, I'll be out on a foggy night, wearing a cool hat, standing under a lamp post, holding a newspaper folded three times.  The password is "inconceivable" and I will give you the 5.25" floppy with my BBC-Master games on it.


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