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Björn Ulvaeus wants more filternet

Mr Ulvaeus has long been the enemy of creative people innovating in his field and a few days ago he managed to score some space on Times Online. He argues among other things that since song writer can’t tour and are incapable of negotiating good deals for themselves they should be legally pampered and be given unrestricted legal clout to punish their customers potential customers?!

I’m not surprised to hear that record labels have put composers in a shitty situation, why pay someone that you’ve chained in a basement somewhere if you don’t have to? But to say that a good way to make composers earn more is to disconnect accused file sharers from the Internet is simply laughable. If, unlikely as it is, disconnecting people from the Internet creates more goodwill than badwill among your customers, and that the record label can convert that goodwill into money… Yes, I know, unlikely. But still, if they manage all that, what could possibly make mr Ulvaeus think that composer would see any of that money? Or the bands/artists performing their songs for that matter, specially the new ones?  The entertainment industry just keeps on growing and if you aren’t getting paid now, exiling people from the Internet isn’t going to get you paid either.

Then again the letter has a part that I agree with.

Joking aside, the joy of creation must never be denied, and it is truly a wonderful thing to know that something one has written remixed is listened to by many people; waking emotions, causing goose bumps, and drawing that irresistible urge to listen again. Maybe a song you wrote remixed could help a poor, depressed person out there to forget his misery for a while.

Sadly he wants ISPs to monitor your Internet connections to make sure you aren’t being creative and remixing stuff!

Mr Ulvaeus goes on to say:

All this is, of course, reward in itself, but a prerequisite for the existence of these songs is almost always that their author can afford to devote himself entirely to cultivating his talent.

Translation: People are only creative and good when they get paid. If you still are creative but not getting paid, what ever you create is bad. Linux and Wikipedia disagrees I think.

Nevertheless, it makes me angry when those who want to get round copyright on the Internet evoke a faceless and immensely powerful “intellectual property industry” as their main enemy just because it suits them.

Well, I agree the “immensely  powerful intellectual property industry”  is a big problem. But them being faceless is of their own design by hiding behind organisations like MPAA, RIAA, BSA and IFPI. And they have no problem trying to associate file sharing with terrorism and child pornography, just because it suits them. So my advice to Mr Ulvaeus is to not go down that line of argumentation.

Those under attack are people of flesh and blood, who are passionate about their profession.

We, the Internets are people of flesh and blood and are passionate of our freedoms and human rights.

It must be possible to design a modern copyright environment that works with the Internet without demanding surveillance that eats away at integrity

Internet service providers and technology companies can, and should, take steps to deal with piracy.

Right, sounds reasonable… Wait?! What?!  The only way for ISPs to join the crusade against piracy is for them to deploy massive surveillance… So which is it? A modern copyright environment or a surveillance society?

But perhaps I should be nice for a few. It’s sad that creative people aren’t valued enough. And where music is concerned I think part of the solution is to start seeing the performers and a small company. And they in turn hire the competence or buy the services they need to succeed. This would help solve the problem for the writers and composers as well. People in the music business need to reevaluate the money sinking role of the traditional record label. If they do that the truly creative people that add value to our culture and deserve the money will get it.

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