An endless stream of law proposals, soft-law initiatives and free-trade agreements keeps trying to eradicate or prevent the non-market sharing of digital works between individuals. New strategies are pushed using incentives and threats so that intermediaries will police the Internet to save the scarcity-based business models of a few from the competition of abundance. So is it business as usual? Well, no longer.
There are strong signs that citizens and digital rights organizations have reached a new maturity in what used to be the “piracy” debate. For many years, they of course stressed the damage that the war against piracy was doing to the Internet, to freedoms and fundamental rights. However, many seemed to have forgotten that the initiators of file sharing … called it file sharing. They feared standing explicitly for its legitimacy and looked for schemes that would buy peace in the war against P2P. They pushed for blanket licensing or licence globale proposals whether optional or compulsory that proposed to compensate a limited set of industries motion picture, phonographic industry and a lesser extent TV for the harm allegedly caused by unauthorized sharing.