I’m a great believer that information should be easily obtainable.
Just recently, I heard “Rockin’ in the Free World” again. The last time that I remember hearing that song was on some MTV awards show. It was the one that had Neil Young and Pearl Jam playing it together. Fast forward almost twenty years later and we have a megalomaniac that no one cares about, using the song for a presidential campaign.
If I associate the song with anything that is happening today, it will be about music and how it is free. Back in the nineties it would have had a different meaning.
But let’s look at the title, “Rockin’ In the Free World’.
What does “free world” actually mean these days?
Back in 1989, the free world to me came down to democracy “being free” and communism being “oppressive and restrictive”.
In 2015, Australia, the U.S and the majority of the democratic, free nations, are spying on its citizens for the perceived “greater good”.
In 2015, democratic nations are trying to pass secret bills that the people who voted them in cannot see or know about, however the Corporations that finance their campaigns are allowed to see the bills and ask for changes.
In 2015, democratic nations are imprisoning whistle-blowers who expose their secrets, labelling them as terrorists and dissenters.
In 2015, our courts of justice are overrun with requests for the courts to approve the handover of personal information to the ones who pay the most.
In 2015, copyright is used to suppress free speech. If you don’t believe me, a court in France has ruled that a magazine violated copyright law.
What did the magazine do that was so bad?
They had an article that showed people how to access illegal sources of music and movie content online.
Isn’t it funny how on the one hand, the “free world” that we know has become restrictive and oppressive while on the other hand, a lot of the information or content that was once restricted, is now free because of people sharing.
People are sharing because they are infringing on a restrictive law called copyright. And the response by the industries affected is to pay politicians a lot of money to write and pass even more restrictive laws.
Even when technology companies like Spotify and Netflix or the pirate sites themselves show our governments that giving customers what they want is better than restrictive legislation, what do our governments do in response?
They pass legislation that is restrictive and oppressive. Australia has now joined other democratic “free world” countries in introducing site blocking legislation in order to keep media companies happy.
Copyright was designed to protect the creator.
However, as the Recording, Book and Movie Industries started to grow, business people came out from their corporate offices and stuck their claws into Copyright. So what we have today is business people defending the copyright monopoly, while they are robbing artists and their fans dry. These same defenders of the copyright monopoly are laughing all the way to the bank while exploiting the system in a legal way.
Seriously, would an artist need a copyright on their works 70 to 90 years after they have died. Of course not, but the companies that built their business on obtaining copyrights sure have a need.
Artists create not because they can make money off it as individuals, but because of who we are. We have been creative creatures from the start of civilisation.
Meanwhile, while the Australian government bends its backside to the legacy media companies, Netflix keeps on making huge inroads in the Australian market, with over 1 million users since its April launch this year. The reason why this number is staggering is that Netflix’s competitors in Australia have about 300,000 users combined.
Surely this is proof that Australians do pay for movies and TV shows if they are provided in a way that is convenient to them. And we are paying for a Netflix subscription that doesn’t have nowhere near the content that the U.S version has. But we still pay, because it allows us to watch their content, when we want to watch it, over and over again.
Not in a time slot like PayTV. Keep on rocking is what I say.