Someone has to tell the Post that things do not become true just because Microsoft or some other major corporation assert them. This problem pervades an article on efforts by the entertainment industry to force Internet companies to help them police their copyrights.
The article refers to the material in question as being pirated. This is in fact in dispute. In many cases, for example countries where the specific material involved is not protected by national copyright law, it is wrong to claim that the material is “pirated.” It is simply unauthorised. The Post should have used this term throughout the piece, since it certainly has no reason whatsoever to believe that all the material in question will in fact have been posted in violation of copyright.
It would have been helpful to include some economic analysis in this piece. It tells readers that the industry groups claim that they are losing $135 billion a year due to the circulation of unauthorised copies of their work. If this is true, under standard economic assumptions, the loss to consumers from enforcing copyrights would likely be several times larger.
It is also striking that the Post did not use the dichotomy of big government versus the market that it so often throws into its news articles. In this case, we are discussing a law that involves really big government, since it will impose major sanctions on companies that don’t in effect act as agents of the government in policing what people post on the web.
Read more posts on CEPR »
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.