Peer pressure

On: April 18, 2009
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“When Napster told the district court that it had developed a technology to block the transfer of 99.4 percent of identified infringing material, the district court told counsel for Napster 99.4 percent was not good enough. Napster had to push the infringements ‘down to zero’. If 99.4 percent is not good enough, then this is a war on file-sharing technologies, not a war on copyright infringement.” (Lessig,, p.74)

What is the percentage of identified infringing material on the Pirate bay? The discourse whether This portal is illegal or not shouldn’t be that complex. Free Culture, to me, is very important. We have should take the distribution of creativity very seriously! Creativity is the catalyst for inspiration, which in its place, is responsible for the social, political, and commercial development of our cultural identity. P2P – as an infrastructure – is a substantial contribution to the development of our cultural identity. The Pirate Bay (what’s in the name) facilitates this contribution as well! but, this has its influence on the revenue of honest creators. If we accept and normalize an amount of distributed infringing material, then, on the basis of the ratio between illegal and legal distribution, we could determine whether a facilitator operates illegal.

A few questions pop up… What really is illegal, when we accept a system that is old and based upon ‘property’ in a virtual world of endless reproductivity? Does a maximum compressed movie-file, which doesn’t comes near the original quality, is eligible for copyright infringement? Or, why should we prohibit or normalize illegal downloading when we technologically could enforce zero tolerance? Why isn’t the government being held responsible when a car driver is speeding and distrusting cocaine? P2P is held responsible in the same way! In my opinion, if the Pirate bay is excessively violating the norm (not 99.4%) then they should be punished! But what is the norm? Maybe we should be focusing on that!

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