I just commented on a discussion here about art piracy and torrenting, and I wanted to share it here as well to get some feedback. To begin with you have to know that the digital pirate's motto is 'Information wants to be free', it's the default argument that seems to come up most often when digital pirates are pressed to justify their actions in repackaging other people's creative work for others. Artists, understandably, take issue with this when our livelihood is at stake, and our ability to capitalize on our work is undercut by people with no stake in it giving our work away for free. The topic of the discussion was how to get artists and pirates to even begin to be able to discuss the problem and find solutions. My comment was this:
"I think that the most important part of bridging any sort of gap between avowed pirates and creatives, is going to be a clarification of the word 'Information' in the motto 'information wants to be free'. I completely agree 100% with that motto - information, news, facts, data; these are things that should require no interpreter, no gatekeeper or middleman. If something is a fact, it is a fact for everyone, and therefore belongs to everyone by its very nature. It should be freely accessible and available in any and all formats at any time to anybody.
Art, music, movies, novels, media; these things require interpretation, they require an artist to take the initial idea, translate it through their art into a palpable, digestible work. These things are not 'information', they need to be created by someone, and that someone should be compensated for the time, energy, and work required to translate that idea for the audience.
Until pirates can understand that distinction between intrinsic information and created entertainment, there will never be a table big enough for this discussion."