Thursday, July 28, 2005


This is just for Luke.

One odd thing I have noticed is that many many MANY people get on people who "pirate" movies, music, or games online. I was confronted with two arguements today that I shall proceed to debunk now.

The first arguement was that somehow because of "illegal" downloads, music stores who dealt exclusively in CD's went out of business, and CD sales slumped. That makes about as much sense as saying that VHS tapes sales slumped because people rented DVD's from blockbuster instead of buying tapes from Best Buy. It isn't the activity related to it that is causing the business slump, it is the new technology. Invariably when a new technology arises the old equipment fades out and people who dont change go out of business. Ask the people who made: Asbestos, Vinyl Records, Chalkboards, Typewritters, Commodore's, Radio Sitcoms.....All these things are gone now because new and better products are available and the same is true with CD's. In fact, most industry studies show an INCREASE in digital download sales (like itunes) comparable to what they had from CD's. The difference is that people are buying the songs they like instead of the whole craptacular CD. Most CD's have about 12-15 songs. On any given CD 8 of them are pure crap, 2 are ok on rare occasions as the minimum, sometimes it's even higher. People now buy 2 or 3 songs and pay $4 instead of getting them all, hating most of it and paying $20. Why buy the cow when you get the milk for way less?

The second is the ethics of it. Is it stealing? If downloading content that is copywritten is a crime (or un-ethical) then the very computer you are sitting on is a hotbox of lawsuit material. Your computer saves every web page browsed and everything on it. You have tons of copywritten material on your computer saved there, and some may not be from it's original author or site! Aside from the fallacy of trying to make one copyright infringement a crime and others not, this is something bought by someone (or seveal someones) and shared with the masses. Radio does the exact same thing, they pay more for the song but get unrestricted rights to play it. Now, I could record straight off the radio a song and save it, am I now breaking copyright law because on a public airwave I recorded a song? Am I thief? Hardly.

Now if that wasn't enough, people who regularly download music BUY MORE music than people who don'. The ratio is about 1.25 to 5.50 in British pounds. Switch that to American currency and you are talking about $2.50 to $11.00, almost 5 times as much. People sample the music before they buy it and since we only hear 1-2 songs on the radio, we as consumers dont want to pay for a song and then hate it.

The solution here is to embrace the new technology like we embraced the automobile, the VCR, the computer....We grab it and use it to it's fullest, there is no limit to what we can possibly accomplish with peer to peer networks operational.
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