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The narcissism of piracy

December 1, 2010

National Public Radio’s All Tech Considered has a great story about Ellen Seidler’s encounter with the operators of the Pirate Bay servers in Holland:

 “i’d suggest your clients just fix their own business model and find a way to make money on their productions which doesn’t involve bugging everyone else to get other people to remove stuff for them.

You, nor your clients, pay us for our time, and our time is worth more than lousy entertainment anyway”

This story is interesting for a couple reasons.  First, the pirate had practiced his narrative, cribbed straight from Lessig, no chaser (albeit without all the caveats–the pirate is not worried about keeping a job in a law school).

But that part is not really remarkable because you hear the Lessig daemon so many places as it is the first narrative that pirates reach for when trying to justify themselves.  You might ask why that is.

What is remarkable is the arrogance of  “our time is worth more than lousy entertainment anyway”. 

We, you see, are men of science.  We are important.  You little filmmaker are not.

Now ask yourself how many times you’ve encountered that attitude in the tech community?  I have two words for you:

Eric Schmidt.  If you don’t like Street View you can move.  If you are worried about your privacy, you’re probably doing something you shouldn’t.  And that’s just the stuff he can remember.

Still–I guess getting a nastygram is better than getting getting condemned as a Pixelator and having your house egged (see Egginghaus and German Street View).

Read it and weep:  Pirates Turn Deaf Ear to Independent Filmmaker by Laura Sydell

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