The Good Consequences Of P2P Regulation

It seems that P2P is being internationally limited by different countries, and forced to respect copyright law. Legislations seem still very immature. Let's see the consequences that this may have.

The European law against bad use of P2P networks allowed that national authorities could exclude users from the internet without a court order.
We all may be happy that this has been stopped, but copyrighted materials need defense.

p2p law file sharing Photo by Lepiaf.geo

There's also a law in the USA that makes any P2P software used for transferring files from one computer to another to include a big warning and require the user to give "informed consent" when installing the software and every time it's used.
This is a big pain for the user, that will be prompted endlessly with warning floating boxes.

The trend is to control, limit and regulate P2P networks, and to protect materials that are released under copyright or other licenses that don't allow free re-distribution.

Obviously, this is to fight against software piracy. Also, now that electronic book readers are becoming better and cheaper, people will tend to buy more ebooks. If piracy is not controlled, this may suppose the ruin for authors of books.

In the last years, software developers have also suffered from too much piracy, making programming a ruinous activity. And that's because people not only download through P2P applications from big companies, that can overcome the loss of a part of their benefits, but also applications done by independent programmers or small companies.

In some countries of Europe, people have developed a very weak sense of what is the required effort to produce the things that they steal through P2P, and that if they continue doing this, they ruin the small developers.

On the other part, as new laws emerge, everybody can see that the amount of pirate content on eMule and similar programs is very low. If you search for any application you get very few results. And most of them contain viruses, mostly trojans.
Also, very often, pedophile content is hidden inside other files, and this may suppose being accused of that crime if you don't report it to the authorities.

Obviously, laws are going the wrong way, because annoying the user (as in the US) may damage software applications, and banning people from Internet without a court order (as in Europe) is against the individual rights.

But software developers, and now ebook authors, need protection.

If you don't agree with this, you should just think that Internet has popularized everything. An author of ebooks, a writer, is not a member of an elite anymore. Everybody can write a book, and hope to be read, and maybe get a life from that.

Also, many programmers may want to sell their applications, done with many months and years of effort. It is their right to charge for that work.

ebook reader sony ebook amazon kindle 2 Photo by Edans

And for users, everybody must understand that if you like a service, a software application or a book, you must support their creators. And this must be done directly, not through taxes, I mean buying their materials. If you pay for a software application, a book, or a service, as when you make a donation, you are supporting something that you like, and encouraging the author to keep on doing what you like.

We have to pay for things that we have never chosen, to our politicians, through taxes. Why is it so hard for everyone to support what they like? You have the control over all this.

Also, why do you need to get pirate software? There are tons of open source and free software. And if you need something better, that is commercial software, just buy that. There are tons of cheap soft out there, many times as good as the most expensive ones. Often we review them here.

The consequences of P2P regulation, if done the right way, are many and good:

  • Writing ebooks will be a profitable activity for anyone that has talent.
  • Publishing companies will not be ruined.
  • Programming desktop applications will be a profitable activity again.
  • Open source software will be more valued, and more downloaded.
  • Freeware programs will get more downloads. So companies that make a free version of their commercial software will get more visits and more sales.
  • When you go to your local video shop and copy the DVD that you have watched, at least you have paid for that. As there's already a tax on the CDs and DVDs, this may de-facto legal in Europe.
  • Open source projects will get more money, because people will support them more often.

And derived from the limitations and these beneficial effects, the most important consequence: people will learn to respect other people's work, and that they need their support to continue doing quality products.

-Jordi R. Cardona-

© 2008 by Jordi R. Cardona. Link to this post without copying the text.

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Anonymous said...

I don't care how P2P software is regulated; no matter what, I'm still going to do what I've been doing all along. I'm not about to let a bunch of bureaucrats tell me what to do.

Yo, ho, ho, ho, a pirate's life for me!!!

Jordi R Cardona said...

Yes you will try to do it, but most of the contents are disappearing, so you won't be able to do it too long. And as laws are strengthen, traffic of pirate software and ebooks will disappear.

Pirate ebook sites are being closed, and also torrent and emule sites. Emule itself lists very few results for anything that you may search. Some developers of P2P programs that were clearly focused to piracy are being put into jail.

This is a great news for all software developers, writers, and anyone that is creative.

This is not the bureaucrats, you are doing a serious damage to many small people that want to get benefit of their hard work.

But I know that people like you won't stop doing that until it is impossible , and that is the good news: it will be impossible some time in a very near future.

Jordi R Cardona said...

Things cost money. Even open source software needs money in donations.

Obviously, many people don't know what the hell is working, because they've lived in their parent's house all their life.

And the pseudo-anarchist ideas of most of the defenders of piracy are not about freedom, but are originated in a bourgeois and parasite mind of someone who has not worked hard in any moment.

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