In 2012, more than twice as many Swedes were hit by lightning as were indicted for sharing culture. This stands in stark contrast with the scare campaigns from the copyright industry. When confronted with facts, the copyright monopoly lobby’s fear campaigns to stop people from sharing freely come across as outlandish at best.
The tallies for last year are in. Ten people were charged in 2012 with violating the copyright monopoly from sharing culture freely, and all of them convicted (as we know that courts can’t be trusted in this field). Ten people out of four million sharing culture on an everyday basis, directly or indirectly.
The copyright industry likes to blow the horns and whistles loudly over each such conviction, cynically holding them up to the public as a dire example. Some people are understandably falling for this. But is a fear of the copyright industry… rational?
As human beings, we have a tendency to adjust our behavior both to avoid and seek one-in-a-million events that will, statistically, never happen to us nor to anybody we have ever heard of. For example, we play the lottery, despite the odds of winning being less than a letter’s chance of arriving by carrier mackerel across the Sahara. We also spend ridiculous amounts of money in the War
on of Terror, despite the fact that we should rationally be spending our money fighting bathtubs and stairs instead (five times as many die in bathtubs, and over a hundred times as many falling down stairs).
So is there a rational reason to fear the copyright industry’s tantrums? Let’s compare to being struck by lightning. Are you afraid of being struck by lightning? No? Like most people, you’re probably dismissing it as an insanely improbable event.
It turns out that almost twice as many people are hit by lightning each year as are convicted for sharing culture.
In an average year, 17 people are hit by lightning in Sweden, with last year being exceptional where a lightning bolt struck into the audience at a music festival and hit 19 people at once. In contrast, the copyright lobby is touting 2012 as a record year, with ten people convicted – almost half as many as were hit in one lightning strike last year.
The copyright lobby likes to play on people’s emotions of fear. If you ever feel that fear creeping up as they try to make examples of a few people, remember that you’re still twice as likely to be hit by lightning. Being a good human being involves sharing culture and knowledge with fellow human beings, regardless of any immoral copyright monopoly.
Oh, and as a final note? Those ten people out of four million who were convicted of sharing culture against the monopoly – they were all convicted on the basis on their own confession, something you should never do. The charges were dropped against everybody else.