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file sharing = piracy? Not really.

An interesting Salon article: Is the war on file sharing over?:

If one is willing to believe the happy talk from music business executives, the tide has finally turned against file sharing, thanks to the get-tough tactics employed by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Last fall, the RIAA began filing lawsuits against individual users of peer-to-peer trading sites, and the strategy, the RIAA says now, has paid off. The group is careful not to declare a final victory over file trading, but things are finally beginning to look up for a business long in decline, say industry representatives. After years of scoffing at copyright laws, Americans are finally beginning to understand the gravity of file trading's offense against copyright.

The article is interesting. But what I find most interesting is this automatic alignment that is made in the media discourse between file sharing and piracy. There are many, many uses other than those the RIAA defines as illegitimate for file sharing (note, I am not saying anonymous file sharing, although there worthy uses for that too). Sure, the media loves a good fight and that's why the focus on this comparison. But the uses of sharing should, can, and will move beyond those in dispute. And not just for files, either.

Why am I saying this? Well, can't you guess?

Stay tuned. :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on January 15 2004 at 3:02 PM

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