Twilight on the Spanish Main: Is 'piracy' gone?

It's the pirate's sunset. The outbreak has been contained. Perhaps the industry has realized their mistake? How long will it take for our representatives in Parliament to get the memo?

Today, the head of the RIAA has declared that illegal downloading is "contained". The heads of the industry have now recognized that providing music on-line is a growing market (a 77% increase, this year). The rate of decline in CD sales seems to be much slower at 3%. I seem to recall that CDs were seeing the same rate of decline in previous years.

I'm certain, if prompted, the RIAA would claim that the draconian DMCA and all of their massive lawsuits are the driving force towards this change. Given this forum, you can be certain the I disagree. That said, we can leverage something from his statement. The lawsuits have been world-wide. The RIAA and MPAA have even triggered police seizures in foreign countries. Therefore, I assume he means that world-wide illegitimate downloads are in decline.

In related news , Statistics Canada released this year's survey of the "culture industry". Apparently, this industry only represents 4% of the Canadian workforce. Only a subset of the people in this industry are represented by CRIA, the Canadian branch of the RIAA, since there is more to culture than music. It is startling just how small the contribution made by music industry actually is.

But, this information does not seem to have affected Bev Oda, our Minister of Heritage. She was recently visited by a lobby group made largely of the recording industry representatives. These lobbyists were apparently fed and entertained at the Ministry's expense. Our own illustrious Russell would probably also like a splendid meal at La Panache. Is Russell invited next time, Bev?

All kidding aside, why is the minister so focused on such a small problem? The RIAA now claims to have dulled the threat of downloading. Since the lawsuits initiated by the association have been worldwide, it logically follows that the downturn in downloading is also worldwide, Canada included. Coupled with the relatively minuscule contribution this lobby actually contributes, I have to conclude that the minister is wasting all of our time. Time (and money) that could be better spent rewarding Canadian artists, rather that multinational corporate interests.

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Bev Oda..

While I don't want to join the conspiracy theorists, it was revealed yesterday in parliament that Ms. Oda owns units of Alliance Productions Ltd., a broadcasting company that works in Canada and the United States. On the most controversial policies the CRIA members and broadcasters are aligned against modern competitors. It may be that it is not CRIA that she is primarily listening to at all.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.