Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) vice president Greg Frazier recently declared that “democratizing culture” was not in the association’s interest.
Frazier made the rather frank remark in response to a question posed by Diogenes Muniz of the Brazilian Folha newspaper, who asked about the MPAA’s position on Creative Commons licenses.
“They [Creative Commons supporters] don’t always agree with what we advocate,” said Frazier.
“And [if] you are talking about democratizing culture, this is not in our interests. It really isn’t my interest.”
Of course, Frazier then claimed he was quite interested in the preservation of “culture,” but only to protect it from the alleged threat of nefarious pirates.
“If you do not believe in the value of creativity, the importance of protecting it and the need to reward those who produce, then maybe you can justify piracy.
“But in that case you’ll be doing great harm to culture.”
Indeed, according to Frazier, “stealing” digital content from (wealthy) corporations is wrong – even if the so-called “pirate” doesn’t know where his or her next meal is coming from.
“Governments and societies have to work to make sure the population has access to the basics in order to survive, but that does not mean you should ignore other things. ”
“Companies must live together because they respect each other and respect that people do not steal from one another. Even if you battle to put food on your plate, it is immoral to steal.”
I’m not sure I really have all that much to add here. However, I will say this: if Frazier can’t understand the connection between poverty and purported copyright violations, well then, nothing is ever going to change.
It may be easy for Frazier to shrug his shoulders and chant “not my problem” like some sort of pedantic religious mantra, but in the end, yes, Frazier it is your problem.
Of course, that isn’t to say file sharing only occurs in countries like Brazil where 44% of households aren’t connected to a proper sewer system. Obviously it happens in Europe and North America as well, albeit for different reasons.
So yes, Frazier, you might want to read up on the early warez scene. Maybe then you’ll understand what the scene was and is about for many in the western world.