Back in 2006 at reboot8 Rasmus Fleischer, co-founder of Piratbyrån, presented a talk called The Grey Commons that bears re-reading this week. My favourite section is Beyond the consumer/producer-dichotomy:
The copyright industry today likes to present the problem as if internet were just a way for so-called “consumers” to get so-called “content”, and that we now just got to have “a reasonable distribution” of money between ISPs and content industry. But we must never fall in that trap, and we can avoid it by refusing to talk about “content” altogether. Instead, we talk about internet as communication.
Therefore, it is totally wrong to regard our role as to represent “consumer interests”. On the contrary, it’s all about escaping the forceful division of humanity into the two groups “producers” and “consumers” that copyrights produces in different ways.
When The Pirate Bay gets distilled into a pop-culture news story (MP3 from Q) and becomes a simple David vs. Goliath discussion of “the big guys” and their litigious reaction to file sharing, the discussion presupposes this consumer/producer dichotomy. It would be nice to see the popular discussion move on from this into some of the more subtle (and more interesting) arguments that are at the heart of the Piratbyrån conversation.