I get a strong sense of David and Goliath here, or maybe a better analogy would be the playground bully.
The entertainments industry has shot itself in the foot, a massive own goal. All they have done is exposed their naked greed for all the world to see..
I trawled through the postings on the BBC news site. After a while it became boringly repetitive, the entertainments industry with only a handful of exceptions, was slammed. They do not have public support.
Too often I am forced to watch a video clip on a DVD that compares file swapping, illicit disc copy with theft. No it is not theft. Theft is to take something which deprives the owner of its use. For example, if my laptop is stolen, I am deprived of its use, I cannot write or post these comments. On the other hand, if I use my laptop to copy a disc that I have bought and pass it to a friend who has never heard of the artist, who has lost out? Not me, as I still have my original disc; not the artist, who was unheard of, but now one more person is aware of their work.
Not a hypothetical example. I did just that with an album by Mechanical Bride. I passed a copy to a friend, who I thought would like the music. I was correct, my friend then asked could I buy for him the original album, which I did.
The entertainments industry likes to bandy around figures. For every CD sold, one is copied; for every DVD sold, twenty are copied. These figures are plucked out of thin air, and they make the false assumption that every copy translates as missed sales.
Let us assume for every five originals there are five copies. No way does this mean there are five lost sales.
The entertainments industry has only itself to blame. If you peddle overpriced crap, you expect to get into difficulty.
The peak of the music industry was in the 1960s, nearly half a century ago. Then you had good music, it is now seen as some mythical heyday. Now, with one or two exceptions, we have dross, banal pop music. This is seen in the low sales figures required to hit the number one spot compared with the 1960s.
In the 1960s there was a large number of independent record labels, where the producers had a love of music. How many new groups, as the Beatles had, have a producer like George Martin working with them? Bands would work the clubs, have some talent, their music passed by word of mouth, and by copying their albums.
The business is now dominated by a handful of conglomerates. To them it is a product. The next big hit, then onto the next big hit. Every hit, followed by clones.
The same in publishing. Gone the small publishers who cared about their writers, who cared about literature. If the names have survived at all, it is as an imprint of a large conglomerate. Like the music industry it is about the next blockbuster backed by a massive advertising campaign.
The classical music scene has all but disappeared.
The exception has been Naxos. Naxos found unknown artists, who nevertheless were good, linked them with state-of-the-art recording equipment and turned out a CD at four pounds sterling. Cheap at the time, cheaper than what the major labels were churning out to milk some money out of their badly recorded back catalogue.
At first, people bought the Naxos label, thinking, I do not know that symphony, or composer but I'll give it a try. They were pleasantly surprised.
Naxos then went one step further, they would over a period of time, record all of a composer's repertoire, something the major labels were not doing.
As a result, Naxos now dominates the market.
The entertainments industry bleats about the artists losing revenue, never about Big Business losing revenue, when it is Big Business that gets the lions share of the income not the artist.
The Court in Sweden has awarded the record labels, who claim to have lost out, a massive award in compensation. The founders of Pirate Bay have said can't pay, won't pay, but even if they could pay did pay, how much of that award would the record companies divvy out to their artists? We all know the answer, not a penny.
I 'file share books', I pass them on for others to read, I even leave them in public places for strangers to pick up. Will I be prosecuted, thrown in gaol for this heinous crime, will BookCrossing be raided by the police at the instigation of the Book Publishers Association for facilitating this heinous crime of 'file sharing books', will the founders of BookCrossing be put on trial in a political show trial, found guilty and incarcerated for a year?
The action against the founders of Pirate Bay has not even succeeded in shutting down Pirate Bay, the servers, like those of Indymedia UK, are hosted around the world.
We should never forget that the Spanish Armada was defeated by pirates like Sir Francis Drake, or privateers as they liked to be called.
The conclusion of the case in Sweden coincides with ever more Draconian legislation being passed in the UK, where the state spies on its citizens, far exceeding the worst excesses of Nineteen Eighty-Four or Stalinist Russia.
I thought we defeated totalitarianism when the old Soviet Union collapsed. We did not see the collapse to see it replaced by corporate totalitarianism.
We can though hit back. Communism collapsed when the people rebelled in peaceful revolution. Corporate totalitarianism will collapse too.
We should boycott the companies that tried to shut down the Pirate Bay.
Have they not heard of the McLibel trial?
We are seeing an industry in its final death throes lashing out. An industry that alienates its customers has no future.
Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone, HarperCollins, 2009
Paulo Coelho, From Pirate Coelho Central, Paulo Coelho's Blog, 13 April 2009
Court jails Pirate Bay founders, BBC news on-line, 17 April 2009
Keith Parkins, Pirate Bay, Indymedia UK, 17 April 2009