Today I was invited to Fryshuset high school to talk about file sharing before 300 freshmen. Most of them were part of variour aesthetic educations, from soul and music production, to drama and computer games. I spoke in a personal manner, from the vast changes that has taken place since I started my aesthetic education in high school myself, thirteen years ago. Back then, the tape was the hot stuff, both if you wanted to get your demo out, and if you wanted to copy new, exciting music from friends. TOday these parts of music have changed in a way that makes a richer musical climate possible, where the moment has gotten its rightful place. That was about what I said, only a bit more personal.
The high school had asked IFPI (the Swedish equivalent of the RIAA, my note) if they wanted to represent 'the other side', presenting a contrary position. IFPI obviously declined the invitation, they did not wish to talk to the Bureau of Piracy, but instead preferred to let us have our say without an argument, before a group of people they should regard as the absolutely most important youths to reach out to with their message. What a fantastic PR strategy. Can anyone understand how the anti pirates think? Well, I'm happy I didn't have to argue with lawyers from a different planet. Instead there was another opponent present, one of the music production teachers. This gave significantly better grounds for a meaningful discussion. And in one way, perhaps, our views didn't differ that much: none of us were really interested in changing laws, and we both expect file sharing to be impossible to stop. My opponent slammed the Pirate Bay raid and the "blunt methods" of IFPI. On the other hand, he thought that file sharing networks were a bit unnecessary when there are such things as iTunes and MySpace, and claimed that there were a sort of right to stop others from copying one's works after all, since one's works is like one's children. The audience - hundereds of file sharing and culture producing teens - was concerned and alert. During the next to weeks they are now to work on file sharing themes, in all school subjects.
A small note to those IFPI representatives reading this: You are losing a generation, not only a generation of "consumers", but also those that you expect to sign contracts with in the future.
High School talks
This is an excellent reflection from real life, given by Rasmus Fleischer of Copyriot: