A trial starts on Monday for Swedish tracking site The Pirate Bay. For those that are unfamiliar it is the #2 website for downloading illegal copies of High School Musical and socially relevant progressive music, such as Nickleback’s “Something In Her Mouth“. I should say that I use Pirate Bay to make my “stealing” that much easier. I do not delude myself into believing it is anything but stealing, but I am chronically cheap, under-entertained and morally flexible which is a dangerous combination.
To prepare myself for the trial I watched the 2006 documentary “Steal This Film” staring the seemingly simian-groomed Swedish masterminds behind Pirate Bay. They laid out the legal and moral arguement in much the same manner that Kenny Rogers defends his plastic surgeon. The crux of their arguement was that it is legal in Sweden, so the Americans can suck their big fat Ikeas’. They damn the ‘Americans’ for using trade laws to affect their Swedish policy. Indeed: how dare the American government use its power to aid American needs! Wait…what? That is what governments are supposed to do? Oh well, if karma doesn’t get the Pirate Bay guys, then the hallucinated talking spiders eventually will.
I followed this up with “Steal This Film II” which was what version one should have been. Drawing on historians, notable legal minds and noticably light on Swedes, the documentary doesn’t defend the morality of Pirate Bay but addresses the inevitable cultural swing that we cannot change. Essentially a “genie out of the bottle” scenario that is leading to a new online media. It is given many blanket titles but is essentially content for the masses by the masses. There are plenty of communications experts out there, pausing from their navel contemplation and poised to prove to their parents that the years in University were not wasted in vain on an ‘imaginary’ degree, that are currently pontificating on this subject (in between frothing people’s frappachinos). I will leave it to them to tell you the catchphrase for the next decade will be (“…no no, the medium is the message!!!“), but here is my contribution to the discussion:
‘Experience’ is the new commodity. The music industry has adjusted by making us believe that live music shows are worth $100+ per ticket for the colective experience. I think the movie industry is also, with IMAX, the reemergence of 3D and, of course, mega-theaters. All this telling us that the premium is worth the price. The future of commerce is to successfully ‘brand’ your online experience. Make everyone believe that ‘community’ is the future…then sell it to them. Social Media experts are already laying the groundwork for you, by alerting everyone that if you haven’t found your cohort online, then your cohort is likely already on there making fun of you. You are now some cohorts ‘fat kid’. Sad for you, really.
- Swedes – not well represented in both documentaries or by culinary challenged felt hand puppets
- File Sharing – Unstoppable…but if the Hindus are right you are totally coming back as one of Paris Hilton’s dogs
- Music Industry – Will survive providing they can keep The Rolling Stones alive through EPCOT-like animatronics so that they can continue to tour
- Global Commerce – Not destroyed, merely owned by those who brand ‘cool’ online. And that is where my super-sexy LARPing community will begin its domination: the future is mine.