Will illegal downloading drive independent filmmakers and, eventually, the entertainment industry out of business? Absolutely, says Andrew Keen, the author of the upcoming "Digital Vertigo: An Anti-Social Manifesto" and the advisor to Arts and Labs, a coalition of entertainment and technology companies and some of their leading tech-industry partners. Not only is piracy crippling the industry as a whole, Keen contends, but it's hurting the little guy, the artists; and he's worried that without stricter laws, piracy will eventually drive away independent filmmakers because they can no longer afford to tell the important stories that help to influence our culture.
On the other side of the debate is Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based advocacy group that frequently opposes the entertainment industry on copyright issues. Speaking for many Internet users and online entrepreneurs, Feld argues that the entertainment industry ought to accept the new reality and adapt.