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28 October 2010 @ 02:57 pm
The Revolution will be DIGITZED: Copywrong.  
Someone posted a friends-locked poll about the sharing of copyrighted materials, and asked for comments; I wanted to share my response publicly.

The biggest problem with "illegal copying" is copyright law, not the copying itself. The entire body of copyright law needs massive, wholesale revision to preserve the rights of the end-user and the actual creators; at the moment, all the power and authority lie with the corporate middlemen, at the expense of everyone else, and that cart's just careening down the slippery slope to Syrinx.

Personally? I don't indulge in illicit file sharing myself, for two reasons:

One: the media industry are such raging assholes about it, have the lawmakers under their thumb, and are more than willing to retroactively enforce new, more restrictive laws on whatever they might find lurking on your hard drive, even if it predates those laws.

Two: if someone, be it an individual artist or an international megacorporation, refuses to make their product available through any of the convenient, inexpensive distribution channels that I can access easily -- say, Cable On Demand, or Hulu, or whatever -- you know what? I don't need their product badly enough to break the law to get it.

I cannot emphasize that point strongly enough:

Illegal copying is not an act of rebellion. It's an act of submission. It's telling the big companies that their product is of such vital importance to you that you're willing to risk fines, net access, and jail time to get it.

Me? I'm not even willing to deal with minor irritations. Sure, I enjoy watching The Venture Brothers, but if it's a choice between staying up past midnight when I have to get up early on a Monday morning, or putting up with the stuttery, spazzy, chapter-skipping Adult Swim site, I'll just opt out entirely.

Drakedrakegrey on October 29th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
"But they're the VENTURE BROTHERS", as Jonas Jr once said. Meaning, there is content I'm willing to make exception for in this sort of case, especially when its a show that is so smart, funny, and well done in the face of meddling executives.

But to your point - agreed; current copyright law protects the middleman, who never thinks he's made enough money - regardless of how much he does actually make.

Nothing proves this better than a recent conversation I had with a Fox TV president. He said that their goal for Hulu is ultimately to charge the viewer a monthly fee to use Hulu; then charge a fee per program, per viewing; and have commercials in each show.

When I with some level of shock said, "But... On broadcast TV, we've supported it with commercials and advertisers alone, for what, 50 years?..." His response was, "Oh, that never worked. We never made money that way."

So apparently, for the last five decades, the networks were just giving it away. :p