Software and music piracy linked to terrorism!

The RIAA was trying to assert this last year and I thought it was pretty silly. Now the head of Interpol is saying it.

News24
Piracy linked to terrorism
16/07/2003 14:27  - (SA)  

Paris - The head of Interpol called on Wednesday for a global crackdown on software and music piracy, saying the illicit proceeds help finance al-Qaida, Hezbollah and other terrorist networks.

No wonder they're trying to make file sharing a felony. :-(

Via IP

10 Comments

I thought the problem with P2P/MP3s is that there are no proceeds. If al Qaida, Hezbollah and the like can figure out how to make money off of file trading, why can't the record and movie producers and distributors? Am I missing something?

I'm pretty sure they aren't linking p2p piracy, but cd piracy with organized crime and terrorism.

They don't link it directly, but they call both of them "piracy" and the crackdown in the US is on P2P as well.

It's outrageous that the head of Interpol, who one would assume to be immune from the influence of the RIAA and MPAA, would make these seemingly-baseless accusations.

Where is the proof? How much revenue can you generate selling cheap CDs where the profit of a few cents per CD is a tiny fraction of the 'loss' of $15-$40 experienced by the industry? Perhaps he is just delusional, or hoping to receive more funding due to this 'new threat'?

In Moscow and St Petersburg, the CD/Movie/Software bootleggers are often in the open, either in small storefronts, flea markets or in kiosks in the tunnels under the street crossings. They're not Chechens or Daghestanis - they were Russian wherever I saw them. They operate in the open, often right in front of a nearby policeman. (Because, I believe, this industry is not illegal there.)

What about the sellers of fake watches and counterfeit handbags on the corners here in Tokyo? They operate illegally, right under the noses of the police, often in areas like Shinjuku where large signs proclaim that it's illegal to do so. (I once saw the police in Shinjuku chase away a pair of street dancers, when there were jewelry sellers not 5 meters away. Reeks of yakuza payoff.)
Ask one of those 'pirates' where they're from. Every time I've asked, they've said "Israel".
What terrorism do you suppose that they're funding? I somehow doubt it's Hezbollah or Al Qaeda. (An article in Metropolis described the pay from this industry as between "subway fare" and "enough to live on".)

I would venture that a much bigger source of revenue for terrorists is and always has been illegal drugs, not fake Brittney Spears CDs. Rather than create new enemies, why doesn't Interpol finish its job with the old ones?

Absurd.

I've downloaded some music from a couple of file-sharing networks, and I've bought some fifty or so pirated CDs from "illegal vendors" in Greece. In addition, I can't even recall how many times i've used by burner to copy music cds. i guess then that this makes me a terrorist, or in case i don't look like much of a threat to civilised society, i'm an accomplice to terrorism, or i simply contribute to terrorist groups by giving them a few bucks, although i fail to see how that money ends up in such hands.

And then i read the lst comment:
"I would venture that a much bigger source of revenue for terrorists is and always has been illegal drugs"

that's right. CIA's links with drug traffickers in Latin America not only goes well known, but it's also well documented.

Actually, it's not that absurd.

I would imagine the margins are actually quite high. Unlike the record companies, they have very little overhead. They don't have to do marketing or pay artists and lawyers and promoters. The media costs them pennies, and the only other cost is whatever it costs to get someone to sit on the street and peddle the stuff. If they sell it for $5-10, I would imagine the profits are pretty high.

I'm also told from colleagues etc that India has a pretty well-organized book counterfeiting operation. I would imagine the same math applies to that as well.

The point being that, unlike P2P - on which there are no profits, so the WORST that can happen is the IP of the media companies is undermined - there are real profits in the organized piracy "industry". I can fully understand why organized crime and/or terrorist organizations would be interested in the latter.

When I re-read my last comment, I think the capital "WORST" put emphasis in the wrong place. The point I was trying to make was that the best argument against P2P file-sharing is that the media companies lose money. No one is making money on the other end, it just detracts from the value of their product. The bootlegging I was referring to is an industry built on organized theft.

The Wired article is frightening, especially since most P2P client software shares your downloads automatically. It's the least sophisticated users, those who don't know much about computers, who are going to most affected, because they won't even know this. Ironically, this is also probably the most likely demographic to actually go out and buy the music.

It's curious that the campaign does more to alienate their customer base than anything else.

This has nothing to do with proof. It has to do with fear. No different than the fear inducing statements about weapons of mass destruction... more weapons of mass destraction...

As has been mentioned, there are worse fish out there. The real point is not to stop people beyond the pale of the marketting influence, but rather to demonize the sharing of content in the more developed countries, in order to maximize profits.

This really is absurd. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I believe that this is another way for governments to move in on us. terrorism is a frightful thing, but linking every activity that might be slightly questionable to terrorism is a cop-out. If you ask me, my next-door neighbor is a terrorist. He goes through people's laundry in the wash room and steals daily newspapers. I'm sure this is in some way helping to fund the Al-quaida...

I don't believe that but it is possible. It has nothing to do with p2p though.

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Absolute Silliness from selfgratification
July 21, 2003 1:17 PM

Has anyone told >these people that music and software pirates aren't the type that run around with a wooden leg and a parrot and start sentences with 'Arrrr me hearties...'? :P What really messes with my head is that if... Read More

Piracy and terrorism from Mayhem & Chaos Blog
July 22, 2003 3:41 AM

Joi has a blog entry that refers to an Interpol statement that CD, DVD and computer software piracy as well as counterfeit clothing and cigarettes sales fund terrorist activities. I can see that -- black market goods have been used to finance undergrou... Read More

We'll bomb you from Feelings and Thoughts
July 22, 2003 4:48 PM

... unless you stop that copying! Want to get a license to do whatever you like in the US? Link... Read More

Joi Ito points to this article: Ronald Noble, the secretary-... Read More

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