Wednesday, March 04, 2009

If You Download the Terrorists Win

Jennifer Van Evra at Radio 3 has a talent for finding laughably ridiculous studies that people actually paid for and devoted part of their professional lives to. Last week it was the one about sexy music leading to promiscuity, this week she's found a study from the Motion Picture Association and the RAND corporation that links illegal downloading to terrorism.

It turns out that Jennifer found this one the Wired Blog which contains this excerpt from the study:
"Moreover, three of the documented cases provide clear evidence that terrorist groups have used the proceeds of film piracy to finance their activities. While caution must be exercised in drawing broad conclusions from limited evidence, further investigation is a timely imperative. These cases, combined with established evidence for the broader category of counterfeiting-terrorism connections, are highly suggestive that intellectual-property theft - a low-risk, high-profit enterprise - is attractive not only to organized crime, but also to terrorists, particularly opportunistic members of local terrorist cells."
Now heaps of scorn are certainly due the RAND corporation (which stands for Research ANd Development by the way - they do alot of work for the US Military). It's not bad enough that they'll draw sweeping conclusions based on scant evidence if the cheque is big enough but that their primary recommendation is that more research be done smacks of unadulterated greed. RAND should certainly be considered less than credible going forward.

Beyond that the MPAA obviously learned absolutely nothing from what happened to the recording industry (RIAA) over the last two decades. They spent most of their money on frivolous lawsuits which they rarely collected even when they won and accelerated their own downfall. The MPAA has taken it a step further, apparently they want to get Homeland Security to get involved. (Images of Jack Bauer crashing into the bedroom of some 16 year old who is trying to download Twilight and hauling him off to Guantanamo Bay.)

Rather than respecting their audience and trying to find ways to make this new distribution method work to their advantage they are gearing up for war against the people on whose support their livelihood depends. I feel safe in saying that the big studios are totally undeserving of your respect or sympathy - do as you please and ignore them until they go away.

No comments: