Derek Slater makes a good point about the EFF approach to file trading. First the civil-liberties organization lambasted the industry for suing technologists and not the actual infringers. Then, when the courts ruled the way of the EFF, the record industry did just what they had asked all along — started suing users. Now I’m sure the EFF knew that if the RIAA took the bait it would be bad news for the industry on the public stage, but then the EFF did two things, first started a “Let the Music Play” campaign that says file sharing should be illegal and secondly started pushing something called a “compulsatory license” in which everyone who uses music distribution software would need to pay a flat fee which would then somehow be distributed to artists. Ick. I don’t like that idea at all, and I’ve disliked it since the second I heard it. Well, I’d actually be happy to told off and see what the EFF proposes specifically, if they would just go ahead and actually propose something, which they haven’t done. Until they do, I can’t really support them, despite their lofty goals and the fact that they are one of only a few groups fighting the little guy part of copyright battle.
Look, copyright infringement is illegal, but 60 million American do it anyway. So the law is wrong. Let’s talk about actually changing it in a way that is consistant with both the principles of the Constitution and the past and the principles of today.