For the past few months the headlines have been dominated by two huge movie piracy related cases.
Barely a week goes by without updates on the Megaupload case, which is almost certainly the biggest copyright infringement lawsuit the world has ever seen. Then, with less fanfare but with some seriously heavyweight backers, comes the case of ex-TVShack admin Richard O’Dwyer.
What Kim Dotcom, his associates and Richard O’Dwyer have in common is that they are all extradition targets of the United States government, yet none have committed a violent crime. Indeed, it is being forcefully argued that no crimes have been committed at all by any of the alleged criminals, with the UK government already on record that O’Dwyer has no case to answer at home.
Nevertheless, if the US authorities have their way, all of the above will be plucked from their homes and extradited to the United States, essentially at the behest of the country’s super-powerful movie and TV show corporations. The influence these groups have over governments both at home and abroad is certainly substantial, but according to a group of film-makers it goes further than that – they say it’s nothing less than politicians for sale.
To draw attention to the plight of Dotcom, O’Dwyer, the now-jailed admins of NinjaVideo and the recently convicted operators of the UK’s SurfTheChannel indexing site, a group of anonymous internet citizens have started a campaign called Political Prostitution. The centerpiece of the campaign is a hard-hitting short movie which aims to highlight the horrors of being treated like a terrorist in the name of enforcing copyright.
“We chose to make a video because it’s the quickest and most engaging method to get people’s attention,” a spokesman for the group told TorrentFreak. “Nobody wants to read walls of text on a website at first, we have to capture their attention and make them want to learn more.”
“We called it ‘Political Prostitution’ because we believe that what’s happening right now is exactly that.”
“People in power are selling themselves to the highest bidder and completely disregarding public opinion of their own citizens for policies that are supposed to ‘protect the average citizen’ where in reality, all they do is instill levels of control and punish the average person for something that is not even a crime in their home country,” he continued.
The makers told us that the video, which took two months to produce and features original audio, video and professional actors, was heavily inspired by the plight of Richard O’Dwyer.
“What he was doing was not illegal in the UK, and the public is strongly against his extradition, however the case is going forward regardless of these facts. If this is allowed to happen, we suppose the US should be okay with Saudi Arabia extraditing American women for not covering up in public, voting and having sex outside of wedlock.”
Apart from listing ways that people can support people like Richard, the campaign also lists ways to target the politicians and movie execs behind the alleged acts of prostitution – UK Home Secretary Theresa May, former U.S. Senator and current CEO of the MPAA Chris Dodd, US attorney Neil MacBride, and U.S. Republican Representative Lamar Smith.
The full campaign page can be found here.