Gadget enthusiast and actor, Stephen Fry has launched a scathing attack on the movie and music industries regarding their methods and the general mindset they have adopted over the whole issue of copyright.
Incidentally, his tirade was made at a Live event at the Camden roundhouse organised by none other than Apple. He criticised the "three strikes and your out" heavy handed approach that aim to aggressively tackle those who illegally download.
Fry went on to say that it does no good to label illegal downloaders as criminals. He also poked fun at the "preposterous" commercials on DVDs (and in cinemas) that tell audience about stealing a handbag. This, he says, shows how blind the content industry is in the way they treat their customers.
Those who should be prosecuted according to Fry, are the ones who download on an industrial scale and/or make a profit from their activity. He ended his informal speech by saying that he did illegally download episodes of House, starring his former sidekick and friend, Hugh Laurie.
Apparently, he hadn't been able to buy them legally (ed: not even on iTunes?) and assured the audience that he paid for them afterwards. He later admitted on his Twitter account that he might have laid himself open to attack and that he doesn't want to be misrepresented as a "help yourself and be a pirate" advocate.
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Downloading content without permission from the copyright holder is illegal. End of. People do it because they know they don't have much chance of actually getting caught. Although Fry rightly pointed out that the cu rent approach to the whole thing is a bit out of proportion, the music and video industry needs to do something before it is too late.
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