Most of us have been following the shutdown of the famous website The Pirate Bay with more than usual curiosity. We are curious to find out in how many ways will this backfire on Sweden, US and, more importantly, Hollywood’s Copyright Enforcers. So far the whole fiasco is right on track. But that’s not what interests us in our article today. What is interesting is the lack of proportional response that the law is supposed to exercise. Or to be more precise, the overwhelming force that was used against two or three geeks (presumably armed with highly dangerous ideas) and their vicious drone army of rack-mounted servers and their lethal hard drives ready to strike at a moment’s notice.
Not to fear. The Swedish government threw the best of their armed law enforcers onto such a highly dangerous and obviously critical task. According to witnesses at least 10 armed police officers went inside of the datacentre followed by a little army of “forensic” experts (i.e. properly domesticated geeks). Meanwhile, a retreat through the highly visible and obvious main entrance was blocked by yet another number of unspecified armed police officers.
All of this security apparatus was obviously required and also required was communication and coordination at the highest levels between the US and Swedish governments (allegedly in that hierarchical order). This is so because, you know according to John G. Malcolm, Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA “The bottom line is that the operators of the Pirate Bay and others like them are criminals who profit handsomely by facilitating the distribution of millions of copyrighted creative works and files protected under the law”
Of course, it matters not that it is highly dubious that TPB ever breached any Swedish law but neveryoumind because it is a well-known fact that US laws govern the entire world. It matters not that copyright laws are ridiculous and the whole concept of Intellectual Property is laughable and ludicrous (see our Summary Of Intellectual Property).
This whole operative took place to take down a site that…drumroll please… was “facilitating” access to movies for people who would not, in all likelihood and according to many opinions -and some studies- never paid a cent for those materials. In other words, the most likely loss to the Hollywood industry is about zero. However, if other studies are correct as they seem to be, sharing of so-called “copyrighted” material is actually good for business. The model being try before you buy. Sounds familiar?
But if this is so, why would Hollywood (et al) be up in arms for a model that actually feeds their bottom line? Because in this business model if you produce garbage you don’t sell. And this is the main issue. How many movies (as a percentage of the totality) has Hollywood produced worth watching? If we say 10% we would be very generous indeed… allegedly.
And so to break this “vicious” cabal of “criminals” a group of armed enforcers larger than the one that killed Osama Bin Laden and its entire entourage was necessary. Obviously. They were probably expecting some kind of resistance. Do you have any idea how sharp are virtual ones and zeroes? And they had plenty of those in reseve! Do you have any measure of how vicious two or three geeks can be when their power drinks are threatened? They may throw at you code hacked in haste! Worse! It could be unstructured and spaghetti one!. Clearly, all this overwhelming force was absolutely necessary to … err… to…camon… help us here… to… err… protect? Yeah… that’s it. To protect those valiant police officers that so courageously put their lives at risk to ensure the predominance of US law and order in Sweden (however idiotic it may be). Obviously.
Meanwhile reality was traveling somewhere else. Torrenting is as high as usual. There was no disruption in user’s wishes. But there is one difference. It is clear now that people simply won’t give up. And this is creating and expanding on-demand streamed services for visual entertainment. The net effect of all this circus is that now more people have become aware that they do have an option and that new companies will pop-up like ants after a rain to offer cheaper and cheaper access to entertainment. And what will happen with Hollywood? Their profits will drop because market forces eventually enforce themselves and there are no laws, rules or regulations capable of stopping them. In the end, the market always wins. Basically, Hollywood’s massive profits are doomed unless they re-invent themselves, stop manufacturing garbage and produce a superior product that people will gladly pay superior prices for. But of course, Hollywood won’t do this because it is far, far cheaper to lobby the US government to do the dirty work for them. Why bother creating a superior product if you have an organization which you do not pay for enforcing an artificial monopoly for you.
It is for this reason that in this operation kill and overkill in something so idiotic as Copyright Laws was necessary. It wasn’t an operational requirement; it was simply a public exercise of brute force. It was a message: Behave or else. Well… it seems that Mr. Market called their bluff and it is going to be else. Good riddance to John G. Malcolm and the likes. Hope they have a golden parachute because their high-profit airplane is burning. And this is not the funniest part. The funniest part is that they started the fire it themselves!
But there are always people “out there” who do not believe us. Sadly enough, this is their right and even saddler, they will benefit from the actions free markets will take. It is obvious that free markets are far more considerate that they themselves are. There is yet another lesson in here but we sincerely doubt they will get it. How sad.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.