Swedish police confiscated the computers of ThePirateBay.org–well known among the more adventurous BitTorrent users. But what caught Quinn Anya Carey‘s eye in the Slashdot item, based on a Slyck post, was a reference to a Pirate Party in Sweden. Will we see something similar in the States, given the massive hatred that the RIAA and the like are stirring up against copyright in any form?

I’m very pro-copyright, as a recent Updike-related item shows, but not an RIAA-level zealout about it, and if given the chance, I’d remind the White House and Congress of the parallels with the global warming movement. Ignore at your own peril. In fact, certain comparisons have been made between physical ecology and the ecology of culture. The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act will reduce the exposure of the wired generation to modern classics, such as The Great Gatsby, that they might otherwise be free to download from the Net.

What’s more, just as with the evangelicals starting to wake up about global warning, the RIAA could eventually see a religious backlash against it beyond one on sex-and-violence matters. We’re talking about raw human greed codified into Hollywood-bought laws. I don’t know if the evangelicals care about Gatsby or piracy of sex-oriented movies, but they just might care about the RIAA’s penchant for such actions as suing honors students in housing projects–and, on occasions, even the dead.


  1. Unfortunately, the USA is locked into a 2-party system, and has been for over a hundred years—and there don’t seem to be any signs of that ever changing. Certainly not over something as trivial (relatively speaking) as copyright. Now, lobbyist groups, there are zillions of those. But in the USA, the two parties have a lock on the government, much to everyone else’s dismay.

  2. I totally agree that the parties are no small part of the problem. I’m a lifelong Dem and totally ashamed of the fact that Hollywood owns The Party lock, stock and barrel. That’s how they buy the laws. Meanwhile the GOP competes for the same donations. We’re really talking about very serious problems at the system level. I do think, however, that as more and more people use MP3 players and the like, they’l understand the mess that the pols are making of the copyright laws–and perhaps that’ll help balance out the Hollywood donations, aka bribes. One can hope… Thanks. David

  3. How does this work at a local (municipal, county, state) level? Do the Dems and the Reps have the same stranglehold there?

    I realize that a copyright reform party would be a bit out of place at the local level, but presumably it could share a list with the party most likely to be for sane copyrights? That way, people could give their frustration a voice by voting for the reform party, even if that vote would wind up with one of the two major parties.

  4. By and large we have a “majority/minority” party system at all levels of government. I’ve believed for years that for the House of Representatives we should switch it to a system where voters vote for a party, then the seats of the House are doled out based on the relative percentages each party gets. The benefit of this is that citizens with minority opinions may get representation. The Senate should revert to a system where the Senators are appointed by each State legislature, and not voted by citizens. This assures the states have a check on Federal power, and it might reduce the influence of special interests on legislation since it will be tougher for special interests to pay off enough state legislators in enough state legislatures. In addition, it should create more interest by voters in their state legislative races. For President, I’d switch to a system where the President is directly elected by all the People, and if no candidate gets a majority vote, to have a runoff between the top two candidates.

    Anyway, what this has to do with ebooks and digital libraries is pretty minimal, but Branko did ask. <laugh/>

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