I was looking through my old blogs and I found an interesting post I wrote in 2005. Everything following this sentence is from that post.
Where is our Privacy?
Napster started it all. File sharing flourished when it was released. Music lovers shared a large variety of sounds among each other and other music lovers around the world. The MP3 format became widely used and became a household word. Custom cds were being produced in higher numbers than ever before. What joy it brought to our little happy hearts.
Enter the RIAA. Enter old and dying music groups like Metallica. Enter courts. Our love for the sharing of music was being threatened. The RIAA and bands like Metallica started cracking down on Napster and its users. Soon, the mildstone of the MP3 age was sieged and destroyed. Even though it came back, it was never the same. We all share a sad loss in our hearts.
Nonetheless, despite the efforts of RIAA, many imitators, and some becoming superior to the original, emerged. Radiated through every part of the world was each region’s own little version of Napster. We got Morpheus, Kazaa, iMesh, Edonkey, Emule, BearShare, Filetopia, Direct Connect, Grouper, and the like. Our strength, our love for music sharing and file sharing in general… it spawned a whole new generation of programs. These 2nd generation Napsters proved that there was no stopping the file sharing of the public…or so it seemed.
RIAA, MPAA, along with other associations across the globe united and took a stand against the 2nd generation spawn of file-sharers. A battle ensued, and it was bravely and fiercely fought. However, in the end, one by one the 2nd generation was losing. One by one we lost another league of sharers. One by one, we felt more loss in our hearts. However, this was a mere battle in a grandscale war. File-sharing came back once, what is there to prevent it from coming back again?
Bittorrent. The pinnacle of the file-sharing legacy and the basis of what is legendary known as Suprnova.org. This was a mode of file-sharing that was recently introduced a couple years ago that caught on in a surprisingly quick fashion. It could resume files, download from multiple people at once, and was individually uploaded. This meant no central server, which meant lower risk of getting pounded by the RIAA and MPAA. For what seemed like a long period of time, this was our main means of sharing. It seemed to be a long period of time, that is, until its demise.
The crackdown on BT was a tricky one, because it meant that they would have to be breaking the law in order to arrest others that are breaking the law. That is why they went and attacked the trackers, specifically Suprnova, the then biggest provider of torrents. Although small sites went down first, it was not until Suprnova went down that hope was given up. Now we sit here at a loss of one of our biggest proponents to file-sharing.
What does this have to do with privacy?
Should we not be able to share files with our friends and family as we do when we visit them and play the cd/movie in their players? Should we not be able to create our own custom mixed cds for parties and themed-dances? Should we not be able to express our freedom of doing whatever we want to whatever we buy? If we do not make a profit out of it, there should not be any problem with it. Artists already lose a lot of money by getting only a certain percentage of money from their album distributers (the RIAA). Yet, this is being made a big deal and we are being invaded of our privacy and being arrested for what we do in private.
Shouldn’t what we do in our own households be left to us? The laws over anything do not pertain to household individuals. By attributing those laws to what we do in our homes is not only unlawful but it also breaks another law which is the right to our own privacy.
This privacy issue doesn’t have to just be with file-sharing. We see this today with laws such as The Patriot Act. Tapping into phones and listening in on conversations so that we can lock people up in jail before they commit a crime is absurd. Invasion of privacy. We lose our freedom of speech. We will have to be careful what we say. We can’t joke around anymore when we are with friends. We will become an emotionless people. What makes us human will be taken from us, “to preserve the better of the nation”. What point is there in living if we lose what makes us human? What point is there to be in a nation that takes away our human right to merely “better” the nation?