Go for a copy

It seems I’m gonna be back on TV. The topic is not that surprising: p2p and copyright. The good news is that it’s on the national TV1 next Tuesday, at 7PM, and it’s gonna be a live debate!

Now I’ve been thinking something “new” to say.

One idea is to talk a few liners about disappearing tolerance in the society. When I was a ten-year-old kid in the 1980s our principal in the school asked us to bring in Commode 64 game tapes (copied, for sure). The school had bought a new double-deck system, which did quick and high quality cassette copying – this time for the principal’s son’s new computer. Local electronic stores that sold computers also loaned out game tapes and disks for computer buyers. For copying, of course. Another principal in the high-school was telling us proudly how his son had circumvented Lotus 1-2-3’s copy protection on a high-end PC machine. So far from being suspected, we computer kids were honored as being technologically on the edge, much smarter than our parents.

Now all of this is being turned upside down: we are being told that copying is crime and leads to heavy fines and criminal punishment. We have just degenerated to dumb pirates and the suit guy is again the vice guy. Share a copy, hack a system, and the rest of your life will be ruined. My puzzle right now is, if I am just some sort of techno-hippie that happened to live like the previous generation did in the 1960s? Smoked their stuff and did their acid tests, legally, or at least without much interference, whenever they felt like it. Until the jerks in the suits noticed, and everything cool and advanced was quickly regulated as unwanted behavior. First we had war on drugs and now it’s all about war on piracy… Yes, I don’t even need to mention the real word they want to associate all this into: terror.

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