In the most recent Truth About Markets, Max Keiser talks to Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, about Megaupload and the danger Megaupload really presented to the Mainstream media and news delivery cartels. I’ve included a short transcript of the beginning of the show below.
Rick Falkvinge: What I find really interesting about the Megaupload story is that we find out the copyright cartels are not primarily attacking people sharing music, movie, games, whatever – they’re attacking alternative distribution models. What they’re scared to death of is not that ordinary people share music because some teenagers have always done that What they’re scared to death about is that the artists will discover that [the copyright cartels] as parasitic middle men are no longer needed to make a living.
Megaupload had this deal where they would pull in ad revenue and they would return the artists 90% of the ad revenue. So a lot of Hip-Hop artists would find that publishing for free on Megaupload was a much, much better deal than ever going with the traditional record labels. That of course was definitely a poke in the eye to the copyright cartels so if you ask me I think that’s why the extra-judicial pressure was used against a German citizen, running a Hong Kong business, on New Zealand soil, for breaking a United States law that could be questioned even if it were in effect here.
Max Keiser: Alright, so just to recap: The musician would get 90% of the ad sales V.S. 5% after expenses of a traditional record label deal. This is something of a threat to the people that the RIAA (the recording industry association of America) is their lobbying group – they’re afraid of the competition so they have been fighting this tooth and nail.
Now let me ask you about this quote from Neil Young. He said ‘Piracy is the new radio’ What do you think? What does that mean? talk about that”
Rick: Yeah I definitely agree with him. He’s said “piracy is the new radio and it’s how music moves around” and it’s true. From the days of Napster people have started to realise that they don’t need the copyright cartels to provide them with music because people share music. Today’s hard drives are on the verge to being able to hold all music ever produced and they’re just growing exponentially so it’s not long before we can share everything ever produced. What is a danger is that artists are gonna discover that this is actually beneficial to them and we’re seeing that in numbers. The average income for musicians has risen 114% since the advent of Napster and that’s certainly not due to record labels.
Max: So let me cut in there: what you’re saying to me is musicians’ income has increased 114% since the advent of Napster?
Max: This is a story which goes untold, because, and I’m guessing here because I’m curious what you think, the same people who support the copyright cartel – the RIAA, the MPAA – are also the biggest influence peddlers in the mainstream media. Whether it’s the mainstream outlets in the US or even the BBC here in the UK – they don’t want that story out here as a news item either, correct?
Rick: Too a large extent, public services are a special case but if you look at the ownership structure of these copyright cartels you can see very quickly that it’s the same owners who control this old distribution models of culture, whether that culture is news, whether it’s entertainment, whether its music, movies, stuff to read, stuff to digest, stuff to waste time with. That’s again why the net brings such a different narrative. The old media structure television news and so on are fundamentally incapable of telling the narrative where millions of people stand up and demand their civil liberties against a dozen trade representatives.