On April 17th a Swedish court jailed the four men behind The Pirate Bay file-sharing website. This action was one element in a global offensive by the entertainment industry against file-sharers. The internet represents an enormous technological advance which has allowed unprecedented global communication. Millions have accessed music, films and software over file-sharing websites. Now the capitalists controlling the entertainment and computing industries wish to use state power to curtail our freedom.
Capitalists from the entertainment industry claim file-sharing damages impoverished artists, songwriters, scriptwriters and so on. Their hypocrisy is astounding. The entertainment industry, like many industries, has always had a wealthy professional elite. The entertainment industry has also always had an exploited workforce - actors scraping a living day to day or song writers scribbling in damp basements. They suffered before file-sharing and they suffer now because they are exploited by the capitalists controlling the entertainment industry. When EMI or Universal Studios complain about copyright infringement they seek to protect their profits, not workers' incomes - be they A-list or Z-list.
The C.C.S. believes the internet, like all modern technological advancements, will not be efficient if run for profit. Nor will the majority of people working in the entertainment or software industry benefit. Instead entertainment and computer software will be subordinated further to the bureaucratised control of the capitalists. Therefore:
- We applaud the actions taken by The Pirate Bay founders and the initiatives taken by their supporters to challenge the enclosure of the internet.
2. Demand the democratisation of the entertainment and software industries. Let the people who create music, films and software control their products - not the capitalists.