Bus company sues maids for carpooling - sound familiar?
April 6, 2008
Derek Sivers in File Sharing: Friend or Foe?

This post is a quote directly from the book Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

In 2005, a French bus company, Transports Schiocchet Excursions (TSE) sued several French cleaning women who had previously used TSE for transport to their jobs in Luxembourg. The women’s crime? Carpooling. TSE asked that the women be fined and that their cars be confiscated, on the grounds that the service the women had arranged to provide for themselves - transportation - should be provided only by commercial services such as TSE. (The case was thrown out in a lower court; it is pending on appeal.)

This strategy - suing former customers for organizing themselves - is precisely the one being pursued by the music and movie industries today. Those industries used to perform a service by distributing music and moving images, but laypeople can now move music and video easily, in myriad ways that are both cheaper and more flexible than those mastered and owned by existing commercial firms, like selling CDs and DVDs in stores. Faced with radical new efficiencies, those very firms are working to make moving movies and music harder, in order to stay in business - precisely the outcome that the bus company was arguing for.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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