Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All for the Money

MC Eiht - All for the Money (1994, Epic)
I gotsta get mine, so I'ma take yours...
I gotsta get mine, so I'ma take yours...
Those lines resonated with me as I was listening to MC Eiht's 1994 solo debut this afternoon, recollecting my thoughts over ICE's shutdown of various websites including those of our rap brethren OnSmash and RapGodfathers. The Marxists Internet Archive's Encyclopedia describes fascism in a capitalist society as one which "exhibits the worst kind of capitalism where corporate power is absolute." What does that describe to you? The present state of affairs if you ask me. The RIAA (and MPAA)-backed legislation known as COICA sets a new precedent in online violations of the first and fourth amendments. As I've mentioned to others, I was particularly disappointed in Senator Al Franken - whom I've actively supported, even on this site - for his support of COICA. Upon reading his position on the bill however, more question marks must be raised:
I ... worked with Chairman Leahy to narrow the definition of an infringing site to include only sites where copyright infringement is "the central purpose" of the site, not sites which may be engaged in copyright infringement incidentally but are also devoted to other purposes.
Was OnSmash's "central purpose" to engage in copyright infringement any more so than, say, NahRight? Certainly not. In fact I wouldn't consider copyright infringement to be their main objective at all. Would any of y'all know that Ghostface, Sheek Louch and Redman were dropping an album next week if it wasn't for their kind of sites? No? Exactly. You're welcome, corporate music industry. Furthermore, I'd be interested in finding out why "central purpose" are kept in quotation marks. Orwellian language creeps up on us from time to time, like when the government (including the fourth branch, the media) uses the term "rendition" when it really means "kidnapping", "torture" and "assassination", or just like in that scene in Full Metal Jacket when Lieutenant Lockhart announces: "In the future, in place of "search and destroy," substitute the phrase "sweep and clear." Got it?" Yeah, we got it. We've also gotta be vigilant about this coded language. Amanda Bassa just penned an article which cuts to the heart of the subject. Her outrage over COICA serves as a resource and primer on this pressing matter. Now is the time for getting informed, active, and mounting a defensive stance. Black Thursday. Never forget.