Archive for May 2012
As some of you may have heard, just last week a High Court ruling said that 5 UK ISPs (Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media) have to block The Pirate Bay from their users. BT are also part of this but are still deciding on whether to go ahead with blocking the site. So far, Virgin are the only ISP to have actually blocked the site. For those of you who don't know what The Pirate Bay is, let me explain.
How can you possibly block a site with this good a logo? Like seriously, let me know.
So, The Pirate Bay, in a nutshell, is a file sharing site; pretty much the centre of 'piracy', hence its name. You can go on there (even without signing up) and download music, movies, games and whatever else you can think of. Seriously, it's one hell of a site. But its always been in the middle of the 'internet piracy is ruining the economy' debate, and, in the UK especially, The Pirate Bay has finally been blocked. Which is sad, and incredibly annoying.
You see, the thing is, governments think they know what they're talking about when it comes to the internet; but they don't. They really, really, really don't have a clue. They seem to think that the World Wide Web should be more controlled, more moderated, more restricted.
And that's the word that strikes fear into my heart: restricted. The internet is something no one should be attempting to control. On a local basis yes; I've got no problem with schools blocking certain sites from students. But the UK isn't a school, it's a democratic country. One that prides itself on freedom of expression, choice and opinion. So why is this being slowly taken away?
The blocking of The Pirate Bay shows that the UK government is starting to throw away these principles when it comes to the internet. I know that's a pretty extreme view in a way, but it's true. What they don't understand is that The Pirate Bay is more than just a piracy site, it supports independent artists. But of course the governments of the world don't know that. Because they know buggar all.
At the start of the year, The Pirate Bay launched a new initiative that it called "The Promo Bay", and within a few weeks more than 5000 artists had signed up to have their records promoted on the front page of the site, absolutely free.
Now let me just point out, I download things from The Pirate Bay. I see it as a brilliant way of "sampling" music, games and programs before buying them. If I don't want to buy something, I won't buy it. Sure, I'll download it for free, but I'm not going to buy something I don't really want.
So, if you take away the source at which I download stuff for free, guess what? I still won't buy said stuff. Which is exactly my point when it comes to blocking The Pirate Bay, it won't change a thing. People won't buy CDs, DVDs, games or computer programs if they don't really need them. However, offer them these things for free, and they'll bite your arm off. As a result, people get to "sample" things for free. If they like what they've downloaded and find that, for example, they enjoy a certain artist, then they're more likely to actually splash the cash when the artist next releases an album.
How's that for awesome?
Either way, piracy is just one big free promotion. Which kindly compliments what I've previously mentioned: governments know nothing.
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7 May 2012
Posted by Elliot Morrow