Mark Thomas talks sense about the Digital Economy Bill
You should really watch this. If for no other reason than to witness the Minister for Digital Britain actually say:
“If people can’t be paid for their creativity, they’re going to stop being creative.” (1m 57)
On the face of it, that’s an incredibly stupid thing to say, and is amazingly offensive to the vast majority of people in the world who are creative amateurs.
Note: I did not say “the vast amount of creative people in the world who are amateurs”, though this would also be true.
Most people in the world do creative things for no money. The vast majority of music in the world is made for cultural reasons that are not economic. To suggest that the only reason to be creative is with the expectation of payment is utterly offensive.
But it’s not just stupid and offensive – it’s corrupt. It’s so manifestly and obviously false that it could not possibly be the considered belief of a rational human being.
The alternative (and indeed, the only plausible conclusion) is that it’s a deliberate falsehood in order to support something that is utterly indefensible when examined with any intellectual honesty.
It’s the direct result of corporate lobbying, it’s entirely disingenuous, and it’s a bald-faced lie echoed to support the interests of powerful and moneyed multinational organisations.
I’m going to come right out and say it: Quite seriously, Stephen Timms should be sacked just for saying that sentence in public (just as he might be if he’d said something overtly racist).
Mandelson should too – not least for his utterly corrupt ‘I can just change the law whenever I feel like it’ clause.
And Feargal Sharkey should just shut the hell up and go away. One good pop song 30 years ago does not make up for his outrageous anti-culture corporate shilling, no matter how much John Peel liked it.
Incidentally, the music that pops up from time to time in the above piece is from one of my favourite albums from 2009: Checkmate Savage by The Phantom Band. Go check it out here.