The FBI, U.S. Customs and the Department of Homeland Security (talk about overkill) have raided a BitTorrent network called EliteTorrents, and seized servers and computers, and arrested a group of “copyright thieves”. Now, if somebody goes to the EliteTorrent site, they will find a warning from the FBI. The FBI agent informs us that “When thieves steal this data, they are taking jobs away from hard workers in industry, which adversely impacts the U.S. economy.” I really want to see the evidence for this argument. Has there ever been a single job lost due to P2P and downloads? I really want to know. Unsurprisingly, the report is peppered with similar rhetoric. And guess who makes an appearance?
“The content selection available on the Elite Torrents network was virtually unlimited and often included illegal copies of copyrighted works before they were available in retail stores or movie theatres. For example, the final entry in the Star Wars series, “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” was available for downloading on the network more than six hours before it was first shown in theatres. In the next 24 hours, it was downloaded more than 10,000 times. “
Yes, and we already know that Episode III has done terrible business, right? Anyway, I was looking at the U.S. Department of Justice website, and I found it incredibly Orwellian. It has a terrorist attack threat meter, which informs us that the threat of a terrorist attack has been increased (yellow at the moment). It also has a section called “Life and Liberty”, which was “launched to educate Americans about how we are preserving life and liberty by using the USA PATRIOT Act.” I have a shiver coming down my spine.