Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If it ain't broken . . .

. . . don't fix it.

PIPA and SOPA appeared to be stalling today.  Not a minute too soon. 

The bottom line is that the music industry and MPAA have been held hostage by the belief that piracy of music and movies is more than a fringe activity.  It wasn't that long ago that they were after internet radio stations because someone streaming 8 or 16 lines was going to break their hold on business.  Of course, the selection of CDs in BestBuy is pretty small these days, because the RIAA was fighting to erect a chainlink fence against a rising tide.  They even managed to get some individuals fined a lot of money for putting music on illegal peer-to-peer networks.  I don't particularly feel bad for people that wholesale copied and distributed vast numbers of music tracks, because it was never moral to do that.  However, getting a handful of people, doesn't necessarily preserve your monopoly on distribution and doesn't replace getting a distribution method that works with the technologies of today.

Piracy of entertainment materials usually involves some false equation about how X billion dollars is lost to piracy each year.  It is actually only lost if, if you closed the loop on piracy by making it technologically impossible, if you assume the pirates would actually pay that money to the film or music company.  In large part, I don't believe that will happen, that money will simply never existed.

Because we're not going to irradicate the technological ability to stop piracy, what the MPAA and RIAA and everyone else needs is to figure out how to deliver the product safety and effectively.

I am sympathetic to their complaint, but make it easy enough for more people to get what they want at a resonable cost.  Piracy won't go away, but most people aren't law breakers to start with.  They just want to access music or films and they don't mind paying a fair price for it.

Get with it.

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