Sunday, July 18, 2004

BUY FAKES? GUY FAWKES: The easiest way to damn anything in these post-Twin Towers days is to mutter "could be terrorism/could be used by terrorists/might make people think of terrorism", and it's probably only a surprise that it's taken so long for the Entertainment Industries to claim a firm link between unlicensed product and Al-Qaeda. This time round, it's the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness (the movie industry's copyright whiners) who are making the suggestion that buying a fake DVD from a bloke down the pub is tantamount to setting up a direct debit to one of Bin Laden's offshore accounts, but the music industry have been dropping hints that fake CDs might be being used to fund nests of terrorisms, yea, even in our own bossoms. It turns out there's precious little evidence for this - Interpol's Ronald Noble has concocted some vague data, such as a court case where there was a suggestion of a possibility of a chance of some link to Al-Qaeda - and what's even more compelling is the shit margins on fake DVDs making it hard to believe a full day down at the Stoke Bruene Village Car Boot Sale knocking out wobbly camcordered versions of Spiderman 2 would bring in enough profit to keep the salesman in baccy and Guinness, much less pay the fees for a few dozen courses at Florida flying schools. As Duncan Campbell points out, Bin Laden was independently wealthy, and so hardly needed to wait for his boys to make it back from Camden Market before he could buy a tape for his next "Jihaddic Greetings From Osama" cassette rant.


Aaron said...

Actually... there definitely is a link, sadly, between terrorism and piracy in the UK - the hoods in Northern Ireland fill markets out every weekend. In Scotland too. However, when the BPI says "terrorists are funded by terrorism", they know damn well that the public thinks terrorism="dodgy muslim", not terrorism="dodgy irishman" - I think it's clear they deliberately mislead people.

Anonymous said...

certainly, at the time of the Omagh bombing, at least half the IRA's income came from the sale of drugs and counterfeit goods. but those counterfeit goods included stuff like perfume and clothing which have higher margins

And Bin Laden may be independently a bit well off but Al-Q is more a collective of small organisations, terrorism has been franchised, each one has to raise their own income. There's definitely no proof that any cells in the UK have been using DVDs to raise income though.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Northern Ireland is a bit of a special case, anyway, as even the experts these days has trouble telling where the paramilitary activity ends and the criminal activity starts:

Some - possibly much, maybe most - money from crime in NI these days is actually criminals rather than terrorists.

Aaron said...

Frankly, that's just a convienient distinction for the UK government.

Aaron said...

Oops, and, I clearly meant to say pirates above, rather than terrorists twice..

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