In an interview with Panda Labs, a member from Anonymous, the group behind the attacks that forced the RIAA and MPAA sites offine, clarified their position in the file-sharing debates. First and foremost, they’re advocates for piracy. That we knew. However, they don’t view file-sharing to be solely a means through which they gain obtain movies, music, and media for free. Rather, they consider it to be “the next step in a cultural revolution of shared information.”
The group member related file-sharing to the beginnings of an information singularity: “a beginning of true ‘equality of opportunity’, regardless of wealth or capacity.” To which they noted that their own academic development would not have been possible, had they not been able to pirate books, because they simply can’t afford them. It’s the great democratization of knowledge. In their mind, the playing field has leveled for all individuals and creators, across all walks of life.
It’s an intriguing idea. Is the RIAA attempting the change the culture of file-sharing or are they fighting against shifts in our society that are much larger than the short-term profitability of media corporations and conglomerates?
One could argue that it doesn’t really matter if it’s either scenario or that of something we’re just not foreseeing yet, the cause and behaviors, the groups who believe in these principles; they’re all much larger than the trade organizations that’ve waged war against them. Not only in the capacity of strength in numbers, but excess of free time. As well, Anonymous is a globally distributed and infinitely expandable group of intellectuals and programmers—who do this for free, for fun, and have something they deeply believe in—they're challenging a structured, hierarchical organization with paid, full-time staff, with costs to pay. Anonymous and the RIAA operate from and within two very different worlds.
The group member relays that the initiatives of Anonymous won’t stop until they stop being angry—that they’re prepared to go to jail for this cause, but have “taken every measure [they] can to make sure that [their] anonymity remains intact.” Their sole mission is to “fight back against the anti-piracy lobby.”
Asked if they were able to resolved this situation, what would they want the respective media authorities of the world to do? They replied:
"I would want them to basically go the fuck away altogether. Remove the barbaric laws they have lobbied for. Treat people like PEOPLE instead of criminals. Their long outdated traditional views on copyright infringement enforced solely by rich and powerful corporations need to be modified in light of the modern age on the Internet, the Information Age. Artists under the media conglomerates have very little say in the content they produce and make a fraction of the profit." (Read on.)