Friday, April 25, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey

There are people in obscure countries like Turkey, in unpleasant places like Taiwan, or in second-rate nations like Sweden, who crow, "We have absolutely no copyright! Don't tell us what to do! We give away music! Ha ha!"

There are also parts of the world where female circumcision is legal, where prostitution is legal, where dangerous drugs are legal, where a "crime of passion" is legal, or where polluting the environment is legal. There are countries where killing endangered species is legal and the murder of dogs and cats is not a crime either. In fact, some countries think a cat or a dog, something you might cherish, is just a good meal.

The answer, at best, to backward countries and backward people is, "Keep it to yourself." If your country allows legal drugs, don't attempt to bring it into a country that is trying to stay clean. If you are a whore in Holland or Las Vegas, don't think you can set up shop elsewhere.

Respect others. If your country is against human rights and doesn't believe in copyright, don't use a file sharer service in a country that does believe in decency. Don't use a blog from a country that does believe in rights. Don't try to spread illegal files by beaming them to people in countries where it is illegal.

In other words, share only with your fellow Taiwanese, Turks or Swedes. And don't be surprised if the civilized world really doesn't want to visit your country or know from you. Places where human rights are not respected...from the Congo to North Korea and back, are loathed by modern, enlightened people everywhere.

And to indiscriminant bloggers and forum members and torrent lovers who want it all for free and don't give a damn who gets know where you can go. Leave America. Leave the U.K. Leave France. Leave Germany. Go live in Turkey, or in Sweden where it is physically and morally dark most of the day. Go to Taiwan or one of the former U.S.S.R. republics where ethnic cleansing is praised and free speech denied.

What? You're not leaving the U.S. or the U.K. or France or Canada so soon? Then think about the laws and morality that made your country great. Think what you can do to make it greater, and what you can do to help the musicians, record stores, song writers and music-providers you claim to love.


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