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Public argument - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 12 April 2013 Copyright in Digital Media, Not the Solution to Digital Piracy Copyright protection is war, a war between big media firms and digital pirates and free-riding consumers. Not! This black-and-white viewpoint of what digital media ought to be limits the deliberation on how different stakeholders can work on a common solution to digital piracy…
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Public argument
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Public argument

It opposes the highly punitive and restrictive approach to copyright in digital media because it has not and will not solve digital piracy and instead, innovative business models with collectivistic values can help curb it. Increasingly punitive copyright laws are not effective in ending digital piracy because technology is faster than lawmaking. Several laws have been passed for the past twenty-five years that support copyrighted media, but up to now, digital media continue to be pirated and shared through P2P and other networking systems. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) provides a structure that implements a system of copyright protections, which include important automatic restrictions with criminal and civil sanctions, wherein they generally define “knowledge as an asset more than a public resource” (Filby 207). The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) reinforced the CDPA, as it treated various media products as corporate assets, even when they were previously perceived and used as public resources. Despite these laws, digital media piracy continues, particularly affecting the industries of movies, TV shows, and music. Corporate media firms allege that they are losing billions of dollars because of piracy and free content sharing online. Supporters of stricter copyright policies promote the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in Congress and its Senate bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). These bills aim to stop websites and organizations, including those outside the United States, from selling or sharing pirated copyrighted digital media material and fake counterfeit goods. These are additional laws that will fail as others have because technology changes rapidly enough to support digital piracy and free sharing of copyrighted products. A good example of failed copyright laws is the Rojadirecta Case, where technology facilitates the ineffectiveness of these laws. On February 1, 2011, the U.S. government seized the rojadirecta.com and rojadirecta.org domain names. These websites provided a guide to Internet TV (Picker). Compared to the initial business of Napster, Rojadirecta gives links, not direct hosting, to assist P2P TV (Picker). Rojadirecta might have lost its U.S. domain names, but it easily fixed the problem by establishing new domain names offshore and relocating them to Spain at rojadirecta.es (Picker). In other words, it is back to business as usual. Organizations, groups, and individuals that support free sharing know international laws, and they have a large and supportive network, as well as the money and technology to help them continue their services in any part of the world. Globalization through the Internet has expanded the boundaries and opportunities for these stakeholders. The U.S. government and media corporations can paint them as the bad guys, but for their allies and customers, they are the good guys, who are using technology for freedom of speech and digital media content. Thus, the case of Rojadirecta shows that people with technology will always find a way to circumvent these copyright laws because they believe that they are right in using digital media as public resources. The tighter the laws, the more rebelliously creative they become. What should the government do instead? Look away as digital pirates sell content that others own and many customers pay ... Read More
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