Folks still think it's 1998 and if you put it on the internet it will be revolutionary. putzes.
A Luddite argument is one in which some broadly useful technology is opposed on the grounds that it will discomfit the people who benefit from the inefficiency the technology destroys.
When the music industry suggests that the prices of music should continue to be inflated, to preserve the industry as we have known it, that is a Luddite argument, as is the suggestion that Google pay reparations to newspapers or the phone company’s opposition to VoIP undermining their ability to profit from older ways of making phone calls.
The internet’s output is data, but its product is freedom, lots and lots of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, the freedom of an unprecedented number of people to say absolutely anything they like at any time, with the reasonable expectation that those utterances will be globally available, broadly discoverable at no cost, and preserved for far longer than most utterances are, and possibly forever.
Hello, 1998 called and what's it's "The Internet is a utopia" mindset back. He lost most credibility with me there and got lumped into the "anyone dissing the latest whiz-bang gizmo is a luddite" moron bin.
The large music companies and the Luddites did have in common that they didn't want the status quo to give way to something new. But I think there are hugely significant differences. On the one hand, you've got mega-corporation refusing to alter their business models and seeking to change the law to outlaw competing models. On the other hand, you've got individual persons who can no longer make a living wage going entirely outside the law for reasons of conscience.
Now you can argue that's the same as the old "steal a loaf to feed my starving child" thing. But that seems to me just straightforward consequentialist/utilitarian ethics.
It seems to me there's a difference between collective and individual action in this case. It seems unlikely that every individual Luddite comprehensively exhausted the options of getting any other employment: that would not have made a mass movement. Instead, as a group, they decided to act in the economic interest of that group.
But even then, the distinction remains between the Luddites forming a rebellion vs. the large music companies seeking to change the law to their benefit.
I'm not saying that I'd act any differently in their situation (although of course, I'd like to think that I would, I don't know because I wasn't there), but that doesn't change the fact that they were acting out of pure self-interest.
I'd argue that - the Luddites acted outside the law (destroying property), while the music companies seek to act within the law, changing it where necessary.
Again, I don't necessarily support them...
(Actually, I'm not sure that on some level I'm agreeing with you, but it's late and I'm drunk)-- This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.