I plopped down on the couch the other night to watch Tom Cruise’s latest installment of Mission Impossible. For the next hour, I was heaving from action sequences and death defying stunts that reminded me that I have absolutely no career as a building window washer. Ghost Protocol reportedly cost $145 million to make. But how much did it cost me to watch Ethan Hunt almost die every 15 minutes?
I streamed it online.
I didn’t even bother to help the cause of piracy by getting a bootleg DVD.
In this age of YouTube, torrents and megavideo.com, what does ‘intellectual property rights’ even mean? When everybody is literally a few clicks away from watching practically every movie ever made, what does it mean to own the copyright to something? When one can bastardize someone else’s music, without permission or penalty, and in total anonymity, where does ‘fair use’ lie?
And when ‘everybody is doing it’, what’s the practicability of legislating against it?
These are tricky questions indeed, especially in light of those antiquated rights formulated before man learned digitizing creativity. But these are not new queries, either. The music and movie industries have been nagging about them. Because when we learned to byte and megabyte stuff, a new ecology of rules was immediately required.
So where are those rules now?
As more and more of human activity is relocated online, where are those rules that will truly teach us how to doggie?
Diana Lutgarda P. Bonilla, Entry #5