But what, after all, is a law? [...] When I say that the object of laws is always general, I mean that law considers subjects en masse and actions in the abstract, and never a particular person or action. [...] On this view, we at once see that it can no longer be asked whose business it is to make laws, since they are acts of the general will; nor whether the prince is above the law, since he is a member of the State; nor whether the law can be unjust, since no one is unjust to himself; nor how we can be both free and subject to the laws, since they are but registers of our wills.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I really like Lily Allen. Her music is not only clever, it's nice to listen to. She's someone I really respect and think of as an artist. Lately, she's gotten involved in the music piracy debate, probably out of interest in the issue from the perspective of a regular person. A regular person who knows nothing about copyright. This was made clear when people from TorrentFreak went through her sites with a fine-tooth comb and found that she was infringing a million and two different copyrights.

Fair enough. She's against filesharing, but doesn't have a clue about copyright. Most of us don't have a clue about copyright - as Joi Ito said last week when I heard him speak, we break copyright law every few seconds.

I don't necessarily agree with Allen since her views are a bit uninformed, I understand the point she's attempting to make: artists should be paid for their work. The problem there is that there are a million issues around that point that she (and a lot of other people) aren't taking into account.

The modern world, as I hope we were able to convince viewers in our short doc, needs to catch up and get over the fact that people download. Most downloaders don't have a political agenda - but a lot of them feel like the music industry had a free ride for 70 or so years. Whether old formats/media like it or not, filesharing is a reality. Copyright infringement is usually far from intentional and it's a sticky subject.

I think the main thing to learn from this great example is that no one knows what the hell is going on. That's why we need a clear, universal set of rules and regs that are easily accessible by everyone.

Ultimately, this debate is centred around laws that are no longer effective. Once the general public stops obeying the law, isn't it time to reexamine the law itself?
10/12/2009 04:41:03 am

Fascinating blog, but your RSS feed seems to be broken. I tried importing you to my Google Reader and it says there is no feed here. Maybe you could check your settings?

10/12/2009 10:53:55 pm

Thanks, Jennifer. When I figure out how to fix the RSS feed, I will let you know. Alas, despite my years of training and MA, can't quite get this CMS ;) Trying, though! Also - great blog. I'm almost 30 and can relate completely

5/31/2012 10:02:01 am

THX for info


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