There is an assumption that what is must always be. Since the entertainment industry drives such huge revenue it should continue this. On Wednesday January 18, 2012 Gonzo Times went black with countless other sites including Wikipedia and Reddit. This was all over SOPA & PIPA. This was a historic event, but it in no way fixed the problem or brought enough attention to the problem. What is the problem? The problem is Intellectual Property.
Intellectual Property is a myth. It is invented with the backing of the threat of force of the state. It is the idea that knowledge or information can be owned by one certain company or person. The myth is perpetuated that people who copy are pirates or thieves. Even those who file share and copy movies and music have come to call themselves pirates. The problem is that it is not piracy or theft. It is theft if I take something of yours. If I copy something of someones or my own it is simply not theft, it is copying.
Intellectual Property is mentioned as one of Tuckers Four Monopolies: The Patent Monopoly – The enforcement by government of intellectual monopolization. This monopoly is a prevention of competitive enterprise in ideas and invention. For example, if the inventer of the wheel was the sole person that could legally produce the wheel with out charge that person would hold an unjust monopoly over all other people. Also, that would limit the improvement of the original invention since in order to improve an invention you need to use the “original” idea.
As record companies become less and less relevant in this new age of information they need to invent laws to make their position relevant because they have little to no place in our world. Once upon a time the artists had to sign with a record company to get music played on a radio or reviewed so that consumers could find them. In the twenty first century this service is less and less relevant. Artists have direct access to those who love their music through the internet. Copyright laws were written to keep others from making money from the work of another. They are used today to force payment from people who make no money from the work of another they just simply are enjoying the work. The money was never there from album sales for artists that was always taken by the record companies. The money came from merchandise and tours. The industry deceives us into thinking that if you listen to songs without paying them money you are somehow harming the artists. The only one who ever ‘stole’ from musicians was the record company execs and lawyers. The reality is that they are struggling to hold on to their laborers that they exploit. This creates an environment where these people are pushing to pass laws to create a place for their jobs so that they can continue to exploit artists and fans for large amounts of money. This is redistribution of wealth from the common artist and person to the wealthy and powerful corporations and lawyers.
Intellectual Property is immoral. It is not necessary. What is necessary is new business models to sell artistic works. Through print, performance and more. What is not needed is laws that go after people for watching, viewing or hearing the wrong work.
Intellectual Property is Theft! It is the creation of ‘property’ through the state. It is the use of law and force to control the actions of others under. It is simply a power given to one person over others that is justified as ‘property’.
What is needed? Do we need to kill SOPA? It won’t hurt. Chances are a slimmed down version of SOPA will pass. Eventuall all provisions of the bill will be made law. What we need to begin to do is question and challenge the very idea of ‘Intellectual Property’.