Ethics? Anyone?

When it comes to the issue of online file sharing the representatives of the copyright  industry (RIAA, MPAA etc.) often play the “moral” card (e.g. you would not steal a bread would you?, pirated DVD’s help terrorists etc).  A relatively recent book by Tarleton Gillespie (Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture) provides a very good analysis of the rhetorical tactics employed by the copyright industry, so I am not going to dwell on these rhetorics or the false assumptions the copyright industry wants legislators and the public to make about theft and intellectual property (maybe in the future, I will).

On the other hand, please see the news piece below about the “moral” choices movie makers can make when it comes to making a few more bucks (Source: Techdirt).

Movie Makers Use ‘Fake’ Piracy Numbers To Score Distribution Deal

The NY Times recently had a blog post noting that the makers of an $850,000 romantic comedy called X’s and O’s were thrilled that their movie was widely shared on file sharing networks, because the attention it got helped land them a big DVD distribution deal, and potentially a television deal, helped along by the attention received from that file sharing. Of course, there’s just one little problem. The FreakBits guys noticed that the number of downloads the movies’ creators are citing are almost certainly false. Apparently some sites post fake download numbers as a part of their advertising, and the movie makers used those fake numbers. But… it seemed to get them attention to get more deals, so more power to them. No matter what, it suggests that (once again) obscurity is a much bigger problem than piracy.

I am not even sure if this news piece requires any further comments.



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