US Chamber Of Commerce Complains About People ‘Pirating’ The Presidential Debate
from the really-now? dept
— The Global IP Center (@globalIPcenter) October 11, 2016
And it links to this Forbes article (adblock blocker warning) presenting some data on how many people watched unauthorized streams.
The tweet is ridiculous (as is the article, but we’ll get to that…). First of all, the presidential debates are an important part of our democracy and understanding who will be leading our country in another few months. The idea that you need copyright to put that on is ridiculous. Second, partly because of what I wrote in the first sentence, the debates are available in a variety of places for free — including TV and streaming on the internet via both YouTube and Twitter. For free. Third, there are no commercials and no fees associated with the debate — again because of the importance of civic engagement. Who is actually “harmed” by people watching the debate through unauthorized streams? Why is this “harmful”? Why must this “end”?
Or, as Parker Higgins points out, “warning that piracy could lead to participation in democracy” is particularly ridiculous — but I guess that’s how the US Chamber operates.
Normally I don't acknowledge trolls but that's the literal Chamber of Commerce. Warning that piracy could lead to participation in democracy
— Parker Higgins (@xor) October 12, 2016
Now, back to the original article at Forbes. It’s just as ridiculous. Written by Nelson Granados, apparently an actual professor at Pepperdine, it seems to pull off a press release from a company called “VFT Solutions” which is a company that (no joke) claims to use its “patented technology” to “protect your intellectual property.” So, yeah, you have an idea of where this is coming from:
VFT is trying to popularize a term it appears to have made up entirely, called “nano-piracy,” and Granados falls for it, hook, line and sinker.
WTF is “nano-piracy”? What does that even mean? Hollywood has been complaining about streaming piracy for ages, so there’s nothing new here. Granados then admits that the debates were available for free basically everywhere, but doesn’t immediately realize how ludicrous it is to then call this “piracy” (nano or otherwise). Instead, he just jumps to fretting about what this will mean for copyright holders. Really.Why are viewers watching these debates on illegal live streams despite having plenty of free legal options? What does this signal for copyright owners who expect to get paid for their content?It signals nothing. It signals that people use the internet and they look for the most convenient way to watch the debates for their personal situation. And that’s a good thing. It’s good that the debates aren’t sponsored or filled with commercials and that they’re widely available. That’s a good thing for democracy. Piracy and copyright have nothing to do with this.
Does the US Chamber of Commerce and real-life professor Nelson Granados honestly think that without copyright no one would have the incentive to put on or stream Presidential debates?
Of course, the pivot is to claim that, well, okay, maybe this is okay for the debate, but gosh darnit, if they can do that for the debate… why,
Did you get that? Because so many people watched the presidential debate, this professor thinks that whoever wins the election should crack down on people getting to watch the debate.
This feels like a parody, but unfortunately, it appears to be real.