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Nothing’s worse than watching members of Congress and heads of multi-billion dollar lobbying organizations hold hands and vow to “fight the good fight.” For we always know in the back of our minds that chances are that the fight is only good for them and not the consumer.So year after year we’re forced to watch members of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus and heads of the RIAA and MPAA trot one another out and unveil their “Top Priority Countries,” aka “Piracy Watch List,” which it claims have lax intellectual property enforcement.In fact, for the first time ever they even added a list of the world’s top 6 most “notorious” illegal websites that are “overwhelmingly used for the global exchange of illegal movies, music and other copyrighted works.” They are, in no particular order: China’s Baidu, Canada’s IsoHunt, Ukraine’s mp3fiesta, Germany’s RapidShare, Luxembourg’s RMX4U.com and Sweden’s The Pirate Bay.The RIAA blames these sites and services in particular for “undercutting the ability of legitimate services to compete and thrive in the global marketplace, and displacing thousands of jobs that rely on the global protection of copyright.”Funny thing is, it’s like arguing which came first – the chicken or the egg. People often turn to piracy because they have no legal alternatives. When an episode of a person’s favorite TV show debuts in the US it takes months if it not years for it to debut legally in other countries. P2P services like BitTorrent are merely filling what Matt Mason calls “gaps in the marketplace.” These are the gaps that entertainment corporations have long been unwilling to fill. You can’t blame piracy for being a solution to your own inaction.““The release of this report casts a damning spotlight once again on several nations with lax copyright protections and websites that brazenly traffic in copyright theft,” said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. “I’m particularly struck by the IAPC decision to identify significant global websites that facilitate massive theft; theft that destroys jobs and cuts short the dreams of creators who find it more difficult to attract the capital they need to build their careers.”Creators dreams being cut short? Somebody ought to tell him about the Harvard study, published just last year, that concluded the number of recordings produced since 2000 has “more than doubled,” meaning that music isn’t suffering, but rather that the current business model behind how artists and record labels make money is to blame.Bainwol also alludes to the possible tactic, mentioned before by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry lawyer Johan Schlüter, of using child porn as a pretext for Internet filtering. “The global challenge in the years to come will be to win the battle for a civilized Internet that respects property, privacy and security,” adds Bainwol. “An Internet of chaos may meet a utopian vision but surely undermines the societal values of safe and secure families and job and revenue-creating commerce.”You know you’re in trouble when an entertainment company CEO mentions “safe and secure families” and “jobs” in the same sentence, especially when discussing piracy.Trouble is that all the figures they cite, the reported losses and negative effects, have been called into question by none other than our govt’s very own Government Accountability Office, Congress’ nonpartisan investigative arm. It found that counterfeiting and piracy have a range of effects, some negative, others positive. Lost profits and tax revenue may be negatives for businesses and govt, but that consumers benefited from increased access and lower costs.The GAO also questioned the “substitution rate,” the rate at which an illegal copy would have been otherwise legally purchased had it not been available. The MPAA and RIAA always use a 1:1 ratio to boost their figures and make the problem seem far worse than it actually is.Developing countries like Pakistan and Brazil, have also expressed skepticism of piracy and counterfeiting statistics in general, noting that they are “generally with little transparency regarding the raw data and the methodology used to derive those figures.” The numbers are viewed as self-serving components of aggressive economic interests. For developing countries with limited financial resources and infrastructure they’ve noted that trying to divert resources from developmental and even other law enforcement requirements to fight piracy is often “difficult to justify.”None of this ever seems to matter to the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, RIAA, or the MPAA. To them it’s always about “fighting the good fight” no matter the costs to society.