I really enjoyed Mattleart’s piece this week on global piracy, and its effects on communication. I do think that piracy is a serious issue. Like Mattleart, though, I question the authenticity of piracy reports that are funded by interests groups like the MPAA or others. I think that it’s a complicated issue to talk about for the United States, because we’re constantly being called this cultural imperialist. Different industries will push our music, films and other cultural works abroad, and sometimes to very poor nations, yet they will be so sour when they don’t see a massive return on that investment.
I do think that in some regards, the interest of these industries controlled much of the debate on global governance when it comes to piracy, and helped to form the policies and regulations in countries where copyright law didn’t prior exist. And as Mattleart points out, the introduction of straight international copyright law did provide some incentives for locals, as it protected their copyright as well.
But I think there are many arguments that flew around for a while against piracy, and one of my personal favorites was this one. It basically says that piracy funds terrorism:
Oh yeah, it’s also the name of M.I.A.’s first CD.