And though it's Memorial Day in one part of the world, this site is a part of the WORLD WIDE web.
I don't think that your post is a Troll, but please recognize that there is more than one thing going on around the universe today.
You have identified the major points though:
The GPL does not preclude the open source community from forking and out innovating me. But any innovation done has to be done in the clear, assuming those changes are beyond "customizations" for a single customer.
Second, this is not about me. Not sure why you feel there is a need to divert away from the points being made in an argument and instead attack the messenger.
This is about economics, plain and simple. Price of a widget tends to the natural cost of producing a single unit of that widget. In the case of digital content, the cost of reproduction is ZERO.
If someone decides to focus on a model that can easily be circumvented, then they have made a TERRIBLE business choice. Throwing technology and legislation in trying to support this particular TERRIBLE business model has shown time and again that these are wasted resources.
Now, as for your disdain of the term "civil disobedience"...murder and theft are NOT "civil". For you to align copyright infringement with them shows that you are not being earnest nor open minded with respect to this topic.
Get this into your head: intellectual property is tradeable, and ought to remain so for otherwise artists, designers, and scientists would not be able to sell the results of their (very much appreciated) labors
You delude yourself, or have let the "IP" people do your thinking.
Why can an artist not make money without reverting to "IP laws"? Or designers? Or scientists (in fact, I know a LOT of scientists that make money without use of copyright, trademark, patents, etc...).
You have fallen for the broken-business-model trap. Simply because organizations have set themselves up on shaky business models and have succeeded with those using INEFFICIENT mechanisms, doesn't mean that society should continue to support that system. The general consumer base is now starting to understand just how inefficient the system is, just how badly the PUBLIC's rights are being trampled, and how advancements of the arts and science are being BLOCKED by these legacy organizations.
Civil disobedience is a signal of broken laws and traditions. "Digital Piracy" (sic) is simply a form of civil disobedience.
TPB is not like a drug dealer. It is more like a street corner where the dealers have decided to set up shop. Or maybe better would be TPB is the yellow pages, where dealers decide to advertise. Or maybe...oh, never mind.
TPB does not "have illegal stuff", it simply points to places where you can download torrents from (note: you do not download torrents from TPB). The fact that a large proportion of those torrents are infringing on organizations' copyrights is not something that TPB has any control over.
Could TPB do things to remove "illegal" torrents from their listings? Possibly, but that is putting an onus on TPB that, IMO, they should not be required to do.
THERE IS NO NEW ECONOMY. This is BASIC ECONOMICS: the cost of producing a copy of a digital item is ZERO, and basic economics says that the price of that item will tend to zero. Why in the world would anyone want to pay more than a token amount for something that costs NOTHING to make?
This is not about an "entitlement" on downloads. This is about the reality of the digital world.
And no one is telling artists they cannot make a living. The reality of the economics indicate that artists should not be relying on making profits off something that costs nothing to make and can be easily reproduced by anyone. Instead, focus on things that CANNOT be reproduced, and let the digital wares be your advertising for that SCARCE resource.
In what other profession does someone work for free and then look to make money by "selling" things that cost nothing and takes no effort? Stupid approach to business, so adapt. Otherwise you are fighting your fanbase, fighting technology, and fighting BASIC ECONOMICS.
Digital technologies have changed the world of recorded entertainment. Digital technologies offer HUGE efficiencies (equipment, production, storage, distribution). Yet the recording industries have not adjusted their business models to reflect those efficiencies. They have (or could) lowered their costs yet won't change their infrastructures such that those savings are passed to consumers.
Consumers recognize they are being fleeced, and the market is naturally circumventing the MASSIVELY INEFFICIENT processes of the 1950s.
Why not simply PayPal the artist HALF of that money and download their music from TPB (or wherever) for free? That approach rewards the artist MANY TIMES MORE than the brain-dead system you are supporting.
See where I'm getting at?
I'm not saying that artists can or should directly interact with fans (there are many artists who simply can't), but the middleman environment changes significantly when the distribution of plastic discs is eliminated from the process.
Are you trying to indicate that the companies whose primary purpose is the distribution and sales of CDs are not powerful?
Ah. But in order to be a fan in the first place, you have to know the band exists.
You've just set yourself up for a Catch-22 argument.
But there are a couple of things you need to take into account:
Success for most artists means being able to "earn a living" doing their art. It does not (necessarily) mean multiple houses on 4 different continents. When you think of a band becoming successful, don't think of bands that Big Media push...that's a formula that most artists, even "commercial artists", fail (possibly after 15 minutes of "success").
Fans are freely allowed to share the music of any artist who allows it and can do so without the fear of retribution.
Then you haven't been paying attention. There are tons of stories of people having posts pulled, accounts disabled/deleted, etc. because of perceived copyright issues.
Many ISPs and platform providers would rather work against their own customers than face the possibility of working against RIAA lawyers. They won't take the time to determine who the real copyright holders are, much less expensive (and immediate) to just cut the account.
One thing that is hard to come around is the fact that the music biz is profit driven. If there really was a vivid indipendent scene that was growing up by the means of filesharing, we would have seen attempts to control it a long time ago.
Sorry, but I believe your interpretation of events is myopic.
There have been attempts to make a vivid (and profitable) scene driven by file sharing. However, there are very powerful business (and political) forces that essentially get squeezed out of the scene once the artist is directly doing business with fans. They are the inefficiencies in the existing music models, and therefore they cannot allow "the new model" to take hold.
Reality is this: digital music costs NOTHING to copy and distribute. Therefore the price of a digital copy will eventually be zero. Laws and technology is being thrown at the situation trying to keep the genie in the bottle. But consumers now understand the cost of the goods they are buying.
So the music industry needs to find ways to leverage the benefits of FREE advertising being done by their fans who share music with their friends. Take that savings (the $$ artists would otherwise have to spend on advertising) and capitalize on it.
Opportunity is there. Someone is going to eventually seize it.
So yes, the current activity is not conducive to indie labels specifically because the recording industry makes it clear that "P2P is piracy". People don't share music links in blogs/myspace/facebook/etc... because "it is wrong". Some copyright holders find themselves getting into trouble by sharing their content (e.g. YouTube taking down stuff that an artist themself put up).
The power of P2P is not in having "pirates" share music. It is allowing fans to freely share and promote artists. This is not something that can be done today without fear of retribution from an industry that doesn't care about facts or truths.
* UNIX is a Trademark of Bell Laboratories.