There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed - W. Somerset Maugham
THE RIAA has got its tame politicians in the US congress to rail at other nations that don't hold such a jack-booted attitude toward copyright infringement as the Land of the Free.
Canada, China, Mexico, Russia and Spain were damned by the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus for tolerating "alarming levels" of infringement of copyrighted movies, music, video games and other entertainment.
Quoting RIAA figures claiming that lack of copyright enforcement in these countries costs its corporate members billions of dollars and the US "millions of jobs", the caucus slammed China in particular.
According to the AP, the caucus said the Chinese government pretends to honour copyrights but still allows "piracy" to flourish in the online marketplace via an array of nefarious illegal websites, file storage sites and user generated content sites.
It singled out Baidu, China's largest Internet search engine, as being "responsible for the vast majority of illegal music downloading in China." That's interesting, because Baidu does the same thing as Google which, as a powerful US company, the music industry has not dared to denounce.
The report said that while Russia has made "some progress" in respecting intellectual property rights over the past few years, "much work remains before we can support Russia's accession to the rules-based World Trade Organisation [WTO]."
In other words it is calling on the US government to oppose Russia's entry into the WTO until it toes the line on enforcing entertainment industry copyrights, if not a return to Cold War rhetoric.
Never mind any more important issues like regional political tensions, human rights or European access to Russian energy supplies, for no more important issues than copyright enforcement exist, in the eyes of the Big Music cartel and its tame US politicians.
It seems almost as though the entertainment mafiaa would like the US to mount a cross-border raid into Canada over its perceived lack of draconian copyright enforcement and wants the US to treat its NATO ally Spain as a pariah for having the temerity to say that peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet isn't a crime.
While there is no indication that US President Obama will make the grave mistake of listening to the music and film industries and allowing them to influence his administration's foreign policy, the lawmakers' statement does show how much power the RIAA thinks it has in Washington, DC.
Unless the power of this US-based entertainment lobby is reined in, all sense of perspective might be lost. If the Big Music Mafiaa would have its way, World War Three might then be started over a file-shared Britney Spears tune or copy of Rocky 9, with NATO allies the first to be nuked. µ
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