The Trichordist Strawmen

Many readers would be familiar with the strawman fallacy. As I wrote in my previous post, the strawman fallacy works like this:

Person A: “Defense is necessary. We should spend more on protecting the nation.”

Person B: “I don’t think we need to spend more on defense.”

Person A: “Person B doesn’t think defense is important! They would see us be at the mercy of more powerful nations!”

A very simplified version of it, but it gets to the point. Person B has put forward the statement that they think defense is fine as it is. Person A has distorted that argument, and transformed it into something that can be more easily argued against. The easiest option is to reinterpret that statement, and present an emotive argument against it, putting the onus back on Person B to clarify and defend their statement. It’s frustrating being on the receiving end of this.

After a bit of searching around, I found this, which contains:

We found this enlightening and ironic. The Pirate Party in Australia is opposed to Spotify, guess they don’t like the competition. What does it say about a commercial legal service when the pirate party doesn’t like it for cutting in on their business?
http://olbrychtpalmer.net/2012/02/22/streaming-is-not-an-alternative-to-piracy/

I’m not sure where to start with this pile of wrong. This could be considered “strawman ad nauseam”.

…The Pirate Party in Australia is opposed to Spotify…

First of all: we’re Pirate Party Australia. While we have international connections to what is after all an international movement, we are not subservient to anyone. Please use our proper name.

Second: I am me. I write articles that show my thoughts based on the evidence that surrounds me, and there is a lot of material that gets me thinking. These are my thoughts, on a blog operated solely by me, with a domain name I purchased. This is not Pirate Party Australia’s blog. It just happens to be operated by a member. Pirate Party Australia have no control over the content here, and do not authorise anything.

Third: Pirate Party Australia (and myself) are not opposed to Spotify that I know of. File-sharing/DRM free downloads can co-exist with streaming. However, one is about access, the other is about interaction. The link to my site that The Trichordist posted made it clear that streaming was not an alternative to piracy. This meant that while streaming is not necessarily a problem, it is still not a viable substitute for being able to interact with media, just as DRM is not a step forward either. YouTube is great, for example, if you want to access content. But what if you want to add your own soundtrack to a video and put it back up on YouTube (presuming you weren’t doing it for money, or plagiarising)?  Streaming is pretty useless for that sort of thing. So my article was arguing that it is better to pay for DRM-free content that you can modify, rather than accept free content that turns everyone into passive consumers. To quote artist Robert Luxemburg: ”We’re surrounded by images, everyday and everywhere. There’s nothing you can do about it. But the problem with these images is that they’re not yours. People’s lives are determined by images they have no control over whatsoever. And I’d say that’s a very unfortunate situation.”

…guess they don’t like the competition…

Woah. Did I read that right? What? The Pirate Party movement is not a competitor…I’m not sure what this means…we’re not…I can’t…this makes no sense. Unless they’re implying that we run the Pirate Bay or something, I have no idea. If you know, please tell me. Pirate Party Australia do not operate or authorise the use of any sites or technologies that are designed purely to share copyrighted materially without the copyright holder’s consent. Fact.

What does it say about a commercial legal service when the pirate party doesn’t like it for cutting in on their business?

Again, where is this business? Pirate Party Australia is an unregistered non-profit political party at the moment. I want to know how claims can be made that we are operating a business or generating income. Please enlighten me as to where I can find this mystical business if you know. I’m certainly not getting paid, and no one else I know is…

To sum up, we started with this original quote:

We found this enlightening and ironic. The Pirate Party in Australia is opposed to Spotify, guess they don’t like the competition. What does it say about a commercial legal service when the pirate party doesn’t like it for cutting in on their business?
http://olbrychtpalmer.net/2012/02/22/streaming-is-not-an-alternative-to-piracy/

And once we strike through the inaccuracies, we get:

We found this enlightening and ironic. The Pirate Party in Australia is opposed to Spotify, guess they don’t like the competition. What does it say about a commercial legal service when the pirate party doesn’t like it for cutting in on their business?
http://olbrychtpalmer.net/2012/02/22/streaming-is-not-an-alternative-to-piracy/

And I’m sure they did find it so.

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Author: Mozart Olbrycht-Palmer

Pirate Party Australia Deputy Secretary and Press Officer. Former member of the Pirate Parties International Court of Arbitration.