Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Copyfighters Support Professional Writers Against Predatory Media Conglomerates
Write the Studios!
A student asked me today if my commitment to a2k/p2p politics diminishes my support for the WGA strike. Until he asked the question, it never occurred to me that there might be a tension between these commitments.
Here's my thinking for now. I can imagine p2p practices making profitable professional writing a thing of the past one day, or at any rate a much rarer thing than it is today. I can also imagine this development contributing to a flowering of free collaborative creativity, intimations of which we already see online all around us. (I also advocate a universal non-means-tested Basic Income Guarantee to subsidize free content provision and p2p participation -- a proposal I call "Pay to Peer," but that's another story.) Be that as it may, today six media conglomerates (General Electric/NBC, Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, CBS, and News Corp/Fox) are screwing the writers who create the content from which these media giants make their profits.
From the Perspective of These Conglomerates:
Unacceptable Piracy = Downloading content for free online.
Acceptable Promotion = Downloading content online that contains advertising (but from which its writers still get nothing).
Even the Cute Kitties and Puppies of YouTube Understand the Principle Involved: