Agree libraries and filesharing have strong similarities. In the (currently first and only) entry on libraries in comments on related movements and groups:
Though society holds them in very different esteem (good, unlawful) and dedicates resources accordingly (salaries, prosecution), the librarians and pirates have similar impacts: increasing unquestioned gratis access to, cataloging, and preserving materials, and fostering community (indeed, “pirate libraries” are a thing, drastically increasing access to academic literature around the world). They each also provide gratis marketing, customer retention, and price discrimination services to freedom infringing industries (publishers, studios, labels, etc). Further (though not universally) they are desperate to show that they are not decreasing publisher profits, and beg to partner with or be customers of those industries. Librarians face a collective action problem, but one which could be overcome: relative to pirates, librarians are highly concentrated publisher customers, and librarians have organizations that are used for policy coordination.
Falkvinge ends with:
We have built the most amazing public library ever created. All of humanity is able to access the collective culture and knowledge of all of humanity, twenty-four by seven, as well as contribute to that collective pool. All the tools are already in place, all the infrastructure already rolled out, all the training already completed. Not a single tax penny needs to be spent to accomplish this. The only thing we need to do is to remove the ban on using it.
Why are we letting a cartoon industry stand in the way of this?
My answer: because we haven’t destroyed the cartoon (assume he means as pejorative for publishing/entertainment) industry. Presently, libraries and filesharers aren’t helping do so, despite industry protests (of course it wants even more control). Rather, they are providing massive funding to (in the form of library purchases) and gratis marketing for (both pirates and libraries do) that industry. How can we change that dynamic? Largely that question is why I created a piracy category here.
Slight edit of something I wrote for Make the Day Against DRM a day for freedom: Encarta & Britannica CDs were copyrestricted. Good thing early Wikipedians built Wikipedia instead of calling for un-banning sharing of Encarta & Brittanica material or we’d be stuck with a copyrestricted sum of human knowledge to this day instead of the most amazing public encyclopedia ever created.
Calling for legalization (which I totally support) is cheap talk. Competing is hard but the only useful path forward; indeed it is at the core of the WIFO theory of change. In that vein, the cartoon^wmovie industry.
I really dislike statements such as “you can’t defend public libraries and oppose file-sharing.” They assume the reader is incredibly credulous, stupid, and un-creative. Two obvious “yes you can” responses: (1) public libraries differ on features other than efficiency and legality in ways that make public libraries desirable and filesharing undesirable, say community and accountability vs alienation and anonymity. (2) public libraries were the most efficient mechanism but filesharing is not; only the most efficient mechanism is defensible, and that is the web. (1) doesn’t comport with my values, but I bet it does with many humans. On (2) I do wonder why Falkvinge focuses on filesharing, or whether that word is meant to include any form of digital dissemination, including the web?
When calling for legalizing filesharing because it constitutes an amazing public library, beyond just calling for legalization, one might contrast how public libraries gained legitimacy and filesharing has not. How might this contrast inform pro-legalization strategy going forward?