Lambert 1(Robert) Curtis LambertEnglish 101Professor Bolton25 July, 2012Research Paper SELF EDITING Addendum to Handout from D2L:2a. I use the reference material for my text analysis (my “jumping off point”) as the basis of myresearch paper and offer explanations as to why I disagree with Lawrence Lessig’s premise. Howdoes the law effectively curtail the downloading of music and movies for free, and in this samearena, how do we actually define stealing of digital media? This is not a new phenomenon, asLessig’s essay repeatedly states; the only thing new with this issue today is the type of mediumbeing used to pirate other artist’s works. There are still many unanswered, and unasked,questions within the on-going debate of how to legally address and correct the apparent plethoraof media piracy that exists in our current digital world. Nevertheless, lawmakers want the artistwhose works are being pirated to continue to be patient as the laws protecting their copyrightsare ever evolving. The current age of digital technology reproduces and improves upon itself at astaggering pace, and new legislation simply cannot be amended in the same time frame. Theentertainment industry has spent the better part of the last 30 years, since the first blank VHStape was sold, trying to determine how to curtail the rampant growth of the media piracyindustry. The contention between the artist and the laws governing copyright infringements isdirectly connected to the time it takes to amend the legislation to be inclusive of any newmedium that is capable of recording or downloading artists’ works.
Lambert 23a. It is an engaging opening paragraph because it deals with the issue at large, and offers insightas to why I chose this topic. The topic of my essay is Media Piracy and the inability of ourjudicial system to come to any agreement on what, in today’s digital world, clearly definesstealing of illegally downloaded material. My intent is to clarify why this is a pressing issue andneeds to be addressed expeditiously.4c. My thesis is clear because, the precedent for media piracy laws has been set since before theturn of the 20th century, and although the type of media continues to develop and progress at arate beyond our ability to keep up, the basic statute of the law has not changed: if one duplicatesand/or sells or uses someone else’s media, in any form, without their written or expresspermission, then they are breaking the law.4d. Lawmakers have long established what it means to illegally copy another person’s work[property] to be used for personal monetary gain, or for personal use. Either way the law is clearand there is no need for re-interpretation, eventhough the types of media have evolved.5a. BODY PARAGRAPH 1: The entertainment industry has been working diligently to reducecopyright infringement since its inception before the turn of the 20th Century.This statement above corresponds directly with my thesis. Hollywood was founded on two production studios refusal to pay royalties to ThomasEdison, who owned the rights to the inventions the film industry was utilizing at the time, andanyone with a computer can now have access to any copyrighted works via the Internet.Research has proven that there are billions of dollars in revenue that is lost around the globe,directly linked to illegal downloads. The LOGOS of this paragraph should appeal to the reader.
Lambert 3We should not want to repeat history, as we have done time and again, on this issue, since thetime of Thomas Edison, and before. John Gantz and Jack B. Rochester for Pirates of the Digital Millennium : How theIntellectual Property Wars Damage Our Personal Freedoms, Our Jobs, and the WorldEconomy, shows that since 2004 the music industry has lost over four billion dollars annuallyworldwide and the movie industry has lost over three billion dollars annually in the United Statesalone, all due directly to illegal internet downloading of pirated media. This sentence above supports my claim that we are robbing artists of monies due them byour apathetic attitudes toward this issue in the courts.5b. BODY PARAGRAPH 2: There has been an enormous amount of support for the mediapiracy naysayers on Capitol Hill over the past several years; nevertheless, Congress has alsoheard a tremendous amount of impassioned testimony from many in the entertainment industrydirectly affected by the apparent apathy of these same lawmakers. While testifying before theU.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, February 28, 2002, JackValenti, President and CEO, Motion Picture Association of America [MPAA] had this to say: At this precise moment…works [movies] are in ever multiplying numbers swarming illegally throughout the so-called file sharing sites (a more accurate description would be “file-stealing” sites)…There is one truth that sums up the urgency of this request to Congress…if you cannot protect what you own you don’t own anything. (1)I use the statement above, which correlates with my thesis, as well as my research article, tosupport my claim that there is a need for attention to the time factor that has always plaguedmedia piracy in developing technology. Valenti eloquently states what most of the entertainment
Lambert 4industry feels is the root of their struggle with the current copyright laws: what do these artistsactually own if they have no control over who has access to it? Furthermore, Gantz andRochester go on to address the question and to clearly define in each medium what piracy is, orat the very least, what it should be. They list several statements as being officially on record inthe dispute to determine fair ownership of copyrighted property. Valenti’s statement rings true tomost people’s ears when discussing ownership and theft in those basic terms. My referenceabove comes directly from research compiled by John Gantz and Jack B. Rochester for Piratesof the Digital Millennium : How the Intellectual Property Wars Damage Our PersonalFreedoms, Our Jobs, and the World Economy.5c. BODY PARAGRAPH 3: The struggle society continues to have with the term media piracyis the connotation it evokes of one being a thief. I use the example that most college studentswould never consider plagiarizing a work for an essay or research paper, any more than theywould rob a store or break the honor code at their University by cheating on their final exams.On the other hand, they seem to have no issue downloading and sharing music through a Peer-2-Peer file sharing network, even though most would admit that they know it is wrong, they justdon’t see it as illegal, and therein lays the problem. The current copyright laws are so muddledand unclear even Judges struggle to effectively interpret the statutes. I use ETHOS in this bodyparagraph for impact: it is important for the reader to know my research has been compiled forma variety of sources, and by this point they will have seen 4 sources cited from a variety ofexperts in different fields. In the booklet Content Protection in the Digital Age: The BroadcastFlag, High-Definition Radio, and the Analog Hole , from February 22, 2005, the Committeeheard testimony via a written statement from Commissioners Copps and Adelstein dissenting on
Lambert 5the Commission’s recommendation due, in part, “…because the [regulations did] not precludethe use for content…already in the public domain…and because the criteria adopt[ed] foraccepting digital content protection technologies fail to address…the impact…on personalprivacy” (99). I wanted to use official documented transcripts from U.S. Senate hearings to lendcredibility and an element of trust, that the government is, in fact, dragging their feet on thisissue.5d. BODY PARAGRAPH 4: The vast majority of the media that is duplicated is done legallyand the artists whose work is being recorded, in any fashion, is compensated according to thelaw. Although it has become increasingly difficult to monitor and protect the rights of artists inthe media industry, due largely to the fact that digital technology changes and advances atlightning speed in today’s market, it is not altogether impossible to keep a watchful eye. Also,the claim that piracy of developing media technology is not new rests upon the questionableassumption that there is always going to be a certain element in society that does not adhere tothese seemingly random piracy laws, and we need to be patient, while giving the courts and thelaws the opportunity to catch up. There are equal amounts of logos and ethos used effectivelyhere, both based on factual information that supports my argument. There is no cited research inthis paragraph; all of this section is paraphrased from information gleaned from a variety ofsources.6a. Counterargument Paragraph: When it comes to the topic of media piracy, most of us willreadily agree that taking someone else’s property without their permission is stealing.
Lambert 66b. In my conclusion I make the concession that, it would be easy to concur that the inability torender a legal decision on copyright royalties has been a problem since the media piracy debatebegan at the end of the 18th century, and the discussions we are having today about how to reignin media piracy are not new, only the technology we are debating is new. However, the artistwhose work is being stolen through illegal downloads and rampant media piracy is continuallyasked to accept that all piracy is not wrong and to give the courts time to decide accordingly oneach individual account. I will concede primarily on the basis that public domain, and legaldownloads, muddle the legal waters of what is and is not media piracy.6c. The paper clearly states a moral directive: most of us will readily agree that taking someoneelse’s property without their permission is stealing. This is pretty straight-forward and leaves noroom for debate. Stealing is stealing. Period. I will present, through a number of quotes andreferences, that the laws on media piracy are cloudy, at best, and the youth culture of today seesthe proliferation of P-2-P file sharing as “wrong” (maybe!), but not illegal.