North Korea have been in the press alot over the last couple of weeks with a rather bizarre visit from Dennis Rodman and Eric Schmidt (Executive chairman of Google). The most strange however is the breaking news that Pirate Bay have been invited and set up shop in North Korea. The thought of a company which was hounded out of the apparently free speech and democratic countries of the West now setting up their servers in North Korea is surely a thing of fiction?
Well not according to the Logo which now features a North Korean flag on the sails of that famous pirate ship. If this story is true then it is a good finger up to the US who should have protected and embraced the pirate movement and not forced it underground. The exaggeration of those against pirate bay and similar online sharing facilities is that they cost the music and film industry millions in lost revenue, of course when I was growing up I frequently borrowed and lent videos and tapes with friends and this is just a wider extension of that practice. The main point for me is that to claim every download is lost revenue is ridiculous, people who download do so with things they probably would never pay for. Whether it be downloading an album to see what an artist is like or downloading a film that you thought was rubbish, you cannot possibly say that this is lost revenue. Especially considering that most music is free to stream online. If the US and those wishing to seek prosecution had gotten around the table they could have perhaps used this mechanism as a way to work with the industry, not to criminalise it and chase it away to North Korea.
For instance they could have offered free version of films perhaps with advertising that you could then purchase without the advertisements. They could have allowed you to buy a collectors edition of the film providing links so those who have a favourite might want to own a collectors item of that film. They could have used the feedback to improve the industry and stop the constant stream of poorly written and directed films that are pumped out and only made profitable by an awful advertising campaign sponsored by the corrupt media. But instead of trying to negotiate a way to get into this massively popular technology they just want it banned. Considering the Internet is not owned by any individual the thought of Governments censoring it makes my skin itch. Lets hope that North Korea are providing a base for them and that other countries learn something for a change.