Dragged a comb across my head...
Yeah, you know how that song goes… part of the soundtrack to my youth as much as it is to this and every other generation that’ll follow.
And, this morning, I did exactly that… well, not really – took a bit of a squint in the mirror whilst gargling with the old Listerine Total Care (Cinnamint flavour since you’re wondering – I’ve become a bit bored with the mint only of late) and thought… hmm, ok, that’ll have to do… the bags under the eyes (which I thought’d look cool / make me look a bit lived in when I was younger than today but which, actually, are now permanent fixtures) aren’t gonna go away… time to get on with my day.
Then… the unmistakable sound of the Inner Terrier barking ferociously, straining at its leash from within its kennel.
Damn, whats got him so worked up… I’ve a load of research to complete, Skype calls with my lawyer later, masses of writing to do, dozens of emails to answer, designs to be getting on with as well as new designs to start and… just a whole shedload of… stuff… to be getting on with.
But the Inner Terrier is barking louder than before… interspersed with a strange kind of yowling sound. OK, best go see what’s up.
Aha… The headline (via TorrentFreak.com) was enough… RapidShare Accuses ‘Piracy Report’ Publisher of Defamation; Might Sue.
Ok… no wonder the Inner Terrier was way beyond just apoplectic yapping. This relates to the widely published story that was picked up by the likes of the BBC yesterday when RapidShare were ‘branded’ as being the leading digital piracy site.
RapidShare – for their part – have responded by emphasising that they are a legitimate company.
Well… it is clear that with such opposing viewpoints that one side or the other are trolling out Porky Pies.
And, this little Voltaire out on its windswept knoll would like to tell you who, precisely, is being untruthful. Yes, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen – readers of this little Voltaire as far flung around the globe as you truly are… it is RapidShare who are about as illegitimate a company as trades as makes no difference.
Indeed… of late, courts in Germany have ruled (that’s confirmed legally to the likes of you and me) that RapidShare runs a perfectly legal business.
However… that is absolute and utter CRAP. They don’t.
For the hard of hearing, I’ll repeat that… the people who runs these sites are deluded at best – they’re simply offering a service that rips off creatives.
Because… RapidShare (along with MegaUpload) are the leading conduits for any piece of music that you care to think of… the channel or means or… route (however you care to term it) … to download whatever you feel like listening to (or viewing) FOR FREE.
Which, basically, means that creative person X does not get paid.
Please, therefore could someone explain how that is legal?
Its not… is it?
Nevertheless, apparently RapidShare’s big-wigs are so incensed at being labeled the world’s largest ‘digital piracy site’ that they’re considering legal action on the grounds that this ‘statement’ by MarkMonitor – culled from a report via the RIAA and others – is defamatory.
Indeed, RapidShare have gone so far as to offer up their own statement… “This defamation of RapidShare as a digital piracy site is absurd and we reserve the right to take legal action against MarkMonitor. RapidShare is a legitimate company that offers its customers fast, simple and secure storage and management of large amounts of data via our servers.”
Defamatory… my arse… its not! It’s the truth…
And, for the disbelievers (and I fail to see who could fail to grasp this)… here’s how it works. This is how easy it is to download any piece of music you like / fancy – FOR FREE – via the likes of RapidShare or MegaUpload.
Step 1… Log on to your favoured internet browser… type in (for example) the album title you’re looking for and search for it using the ‘image search’ function.
Step 2… Scroll down a bit – past all the links to the likes of iTunes and HMV digital and so forth… down a bit further and you’ll find the blogspots that ‘purport’ to ‘write’ about particular Album X.
Step 3… Click on the image link and that’ll (generally) take you to the blog page so illustrated. Scroll down a bit, past the album cover… and you’ll find the track-listing and, more often than not, a box marked links.
Step 4… Hit the link – sometimes it’s not even hidden away in a box but there, in plain sight for anyone to see… and, that link will open up a new page.
Step 5… That new page will offer you your download and more often than not, you’ll find that page hosted by… yes, you’ve guessed it… either RapidShare or MegaUpload.
Step 6… Click on ‘download this file’ and, depending on the speed of your connection, you can be listening to your own copy of Album X – FOR FREE – within five minutes or so.
(for exactness, this isn’t a precise science… from time to time you have to kiss a few internet frogs along the way… but, ultimately, it shouldn’t take much more than ten minutes of searching to provide the link you’re looking for).
And… that is legal?
Nope… I don’t think so…
And… can it be stopped? On balance I’d say no… it cannot. The likes of RapidShare will not be shutting the doors to their zillion-times terabyte servers any time soon – after all, they’re making a small fortune acting as conduits.
Equals, this form of filesharing ain’t gonna go away.
So... is there a solution?
Fuck yeah… With the technology available, how hard would it be to enforce a methodology that makes this new form of distribution a legal way to dole out music (and film / games etc etc)?
And… via that methodology – which would mean the likes of RapidShare / MegaUpload etc paying a form of royalty based on downloads – it would mean that the creatives – the song-writers… the copyright holders… the people who invent games… the authors... the film-makers… are FAIRLY PAID.
Enough… I need to take the Inner Terrier out for his walk; he's howling like a banshee. However, I’ll end this by appending a few pithy sentences from the noted author, David Thomas (aka Tom Cain). Not much more needs to be added (other than to state he granted permission for his words to be used here).
One of these days, the entertainment industry will find the form of words that explains a few very simple ideas to the people who steal copyright material and the theorists who dispute the very meaning of copyright itself.
Such as, for example ... when you rip off a music file you steal the musician's work and deny them the means of earning a living ... no one would expect a plumber to work for free, why should a pianist, an actor or an author? ... if you larcenous fuckwits keep stealing stuff, then eventually no one will be able to afford to spend the tens or even hundreds of millions it costs to make a movie, or the months and years it takes to write a novel, and then where will you be?