After watching Friday’s episode of Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars”, which documents an organization I am proud to be a part of and donor to: Sea Shepherded Conservation Society (SSCS), I realized how similar commercial whaling is to the efforts of the media industries of the world. You have a dieing business and instead of calling it quits and allowing for a new system which is better for everyone… you defiantly keep going simply to maintain pride and put some extra money into the pockets who want to ride the industry out to the last day.
Whaling was once seen as very okay, eventually whaling got out of hand and someone said “wait, this isn’t right” and so was established the International Whaling Commission. This commission put a limit on where whales could be murdered and set quotas and such.
Japan continued it’s whaling operation illegally in the Southern Pacific ocean which was all and well, and making them lots of money. Finally SSCS came in with one goal in mind: Destroy the profits for the whalers and they will stop returning. Japan kept going to governments attempting to get the SSCS shut down and have their ships taken away. Japan even took it upon themselves to ram the SSCS ships and to capture crew members.
Now let’s relate this back to our struggles: The media industry has grown more and more controlling over the content it releases to consumers until they finally started actually hacking the systems that their content was played on (DRM). When DRM was developed and put into full gear the FCC (and international bodies) should have created an organization like the IWC to limit or ban the use of DRM. Instead we see that the media industry has been able to corrupt our leaders on this topic, more than Japan (and other pro-whaling nations) have been on whaling. So abusive practises continue to get worse and worse. However, consumers still find ways around the abusive locks and restrictions put in place by the media industries. Thus, the media industry takes it upon themselves to corrupt police officers to carry out highly questionable raids; even carry out raids with it’s own forces. Additionally, they’ve started using dubious court manoeuvres to attempt to scare and loot thousands of innocent people.
The difference in why our movement looks so bad in the public eye and the environmentalists generally have favourable reception is because environmental organizations can show pictures of slaughtered whales and get everyone in an outrage. it’s hard to take a picture of someone getting cut off from the Internet and generate a meaningful emotional reaction.
There is hope in this story: Last year SSCS put pressure on the whalers until they finally left the Antarctic well below their quota and issued a statement stating they would not be returning the next year. While who knows if Japan really will return to the Antarctic or not. If they do, they are in to lose lots of money. Eventually they will no longer be able to afford to return.
We can put that same kind of pressure using activist tactics on these abusive media organizations so it becomes no longer profitable to fight us. We cannot just let up with them backing down from lawsuits and the like… we must push the line back. We must keep fighting and destroying their profit margin until they can either stop using DRMs and other practises or go bankrupt. We know it can be done, if whaling can be ended in Japan in the antarctic (an activity which is culturally ingrained, and carried out by one of the most prideful nations on the globe), we can end abusive practises from some greedy media organizations.
This is not a call for boycotts, boycotts only reduce (fractionally at best) profits. We must prevent these corporations from getting their product out and stalling their operations, to actually cut into their profits and create losses.