Saturday, April 13, 2013

Internet Piracy

A note from Reuters begins with: 'Spain is working on a new anti-piracy law which will be robust enough to keep the country off a U.S. watch list of copyright violating countries, Education and Culture Minister José Ignacio Wert said'.
Education and Culture. So, downloading a film, a piece of music or a book is illegal according to the minister of education or culture, unless, of course, the owner is paid. A service has been provided, and even shared (if I invite a few friends around), although nothing has been consumed. 
So, in the case of a movie, who gets the money when I buy a ticket? Keeping it easy, let's say the producer, the director, the star, the cinema and the taxman. Not the extras, or the cleaners - they've already been paid (probably in black money at that). Now, where do the producer, the director and the star each put their twenty million dollars? I'm guessing that, as often as not, it will be placed in an offshore account, where the money is rather obviously not used to help the State.
But, no, it's me they are worried about. 
I have the choice of seeing a movie and paying, seeing a movie and not paying, or not seeing a movie. I could pay to see the film, but it's not available here where I live, neither in Spanish nor in its original language. Well, I can wait a year I suppose. Or I could grab a plane and fly to London and see it in the West End. Perhaps it will be on the TV in a couple of years time, courtesy of the Mars chocolate people. Perhaps I should buy a TV.
I hope that it's good.
So, if the copyright owner and the star and the producer aren't going to get my three euros (which is what, in the end, I'll have to pay the fellow on the street corner who has black-market copies for sale on DVD), what's the difference to them if I see the film or not? You see, if it's good, I could at least recommend it. If it's crap, at least I won't be writing to them and asking for my money back.
But all of this is of small account. The larger question is whether the Government, José Ignacio and all, are working to represent the interests of Spain and the Spaniards, of the dissemination in general of education and culture... or of Hollywood.

1 comment:

leftbanker said...

Here’s my take on internet piracy. If I am prevented from downloading movies and TV shows I’m not going to pay for a 15 meg internet connection in my home. If all I am allowed to do is check my email and web pages then I could share one signal with everyone in my neighborhood; instead of 50 homes each paying 50-60 euros a month we could pay for a single connection. The internet providers should be paying royalties to movie and music producers.