Thursday, March 02, 2006

A bit of BitTorrent bother

BBC Newsnight producer, Adam Livingstone, has had some grief over a script line in the programme last Friday saying that filesharing was theft.

"File sharing is not theft. It has never been theft. Anyone who says it is theft is wrong and has unthinkingly absorbed too many Recording Industry Association of America press releases. We know that script line was wrong. It was a mistake. We're very, very sorry.

If copyright infringement was theft then I'd be in jail every time I accidentally used football pix on Newsnight without putting "Pictures from Sky Sport" in the top left corner of the screen. And I'm not. So it isn't. So you can stop telling us if you like. We hear you.

Railways and canals

Now we've got that out the way, let us ask you a question. Why is it that every time the media starts to talk about the internet they feel compelled to bang on about paedophiles and terrorists and generally come over like a cross between Joe McCarthy and the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Well here's one answer - it sells copy. Another answer is that we're totally scared of new media, because new media is railways and we're canals, and you all just know how that's going to end.

So we seek to equate the internet with all bad things to scare you off it. At some corporate freudian level, there's some truth to that accusation. "

It's quite an amusing piece. Worth a read.

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