First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.

I can’t begin to tell you how disgusted this makes me feel.

I don’t pirate, I really don’t, as crazy as that seems. Furthermore from informal surveys of my work colleagues I also know that I am massively in the minority. I still buy CD’s, even my legal, free NIN download sits as a lonely folder on my desktop, never listened to. I don’t own an MP3 player and haven’t loaded any music onto my smartphone.

Anyone who has read this blog will understand, however, that I have fairly strong views on the conflict between the existing incumbent content industries approach to piracy and the reality of the new marketplace. The supply demand relationship has changed and unless we hamstring computing and computers, on a ubiquitous basis (which is such a lunatic idea I actually have faith that we will be able to head that one off at the pass) the old business models are dead.

Today, for the first time ever I tried to go to the Pirate Bay. It was in response to this post on Reddit.

The makers of the movie also contribute to the Reddit thread, their views are worth reading, please do.

I was met with the image at the top of this post.

I actually feel as if I need to take a shower it makes me feel so grubby. It’s as if I have been transported to some strange country that has no relation to the great nation I believed I belonged to. A nation that once defended the common man against the march of the fascist and the immoral. No longer.

I knew that this blocking had occurred as I, clearly, keep abreast of developments in this space. That still didn’t prepare me for actually finding censored access in reality.

So, here we are modern Britain. In order to protect the defunct business models of a dinosaur industry we have lost the rights that many have died to protect, to free speech and free association.

Here is the rub. I had no desire to download that movie. I have still got 23 DVD’s still in plastic wrappers, stacked up against my lounge wall (although that will be 22 later tonight after I have watched the Senna documentary), more than enough AV entertainment to keep me happy probably for the rest of this year.

Anyone who does want to download the movie, however, still can and still will. The thread that followed, on Reddit, had many other links where that could be achieved without any need for technical expertise.

I, however, wanted to see the maker of that movie interacting with the Pirate Bay denizens. I wanted to see if he would be received politely, or whether they would be angry and offensive. I wanted to know if they would actually go and buy the movie as a result of his posting there.

But I’m not allowed to. And that‘s a disgrace.


Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me – Martin Niemoller

Am I being a little dramatic using the Niemoller quote in this context? For sure. Nonetheless, It still makes a good point. It’s time to take an interest in these issues regardless of whether or not you want to pirate content.

I am not a pirate, but I’m not an idiot either.


One Comment on “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.”

  1. […] detail on Tom Lowe, the film maker who spoke directly to the Pirate Bay forums, as I wrote here. I was rudely offended by the reality of the censorship of TPB, not because I wanted to download […]

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