I was invited to a Facebook group that plans a common strategy to take action for enforcing authors rights in online media. Impressing 450+ members, some well known heads from the entertainment and content industry.
It took me less than 15 minutes to get expelled.
I’m not writing this because I feel offended or angry about not being allowed to ad my part, but this shows a dangerous tendency that – according to my opinion is the main reason why authors and rights holders failed in their rightful concern and will continue to fail.
But first things first. I read the first post on this group, submitted by one of the two administrators:
‘the arguments of the Internet community are antidemocratic, we must enforce existing law and claim our position as an existentially important minority.’ followed by postings of the same tenor, from comparing ‘the internet community’ to a german nazi party or them threatening our constitution.
I replied to successfully make our point we need to understand and include opposing positions into our considerations, no matter how unpleasant, unfavorable they might be. Democracy aims on constituting a better structure for all through debate.
I further pointed out that talking about a hostile ‘net community’ is nonsense, because there is no such group. The internet is no more playground for hacking nerds at ARPAnet, MIT or CERN but a global social and economic structure run mainly by (often competing) businesses, second by common consumers favoring the most convenient offers and last by evil hackers. This requires new democratic solutions for such oppositional positions and needs instead of enforcement of existing regulations out of a completely different market.
The immediate response was:
Sorry dear Mr. Gropper, but on the Internet are still the same laws and regulations as outside the network. In this respect, a discussion about such issues is not necessary, … thus, unfortunately, this is the wrong group for you …
If it would be that easy, and you’d only need to transfer existing rights to online, why didn’t this happen 20 years ago? Why does the content industry fail in exactly this task? Is it a fluid rapidly changing structure might require different regulations based on how the internet does actually work, adjusted to the ways consumers do consume today?
And last but not least – is the code of a P2P sharing tool under authors right too?