Monday, November 12, 2007

When Pigs Fly

Off topic.

Here is an online article outlining the whole story about digital music distribution and the record industry. Long, but well worth reading.

When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of REcord Industry Suicide.

1 comment:

Iggy Junior said...

The problem that we have here is that the respective parties are so diametrically opposed that neither can see the other's valid points.

I've written a number of long bits about how this issue could easily be solved. In brief (let's see if it actually turns out that way), here are several of my points:

1) The RIAA needs to back down from its pricing scheme. Sure, digital downloads are close to being reasonably priced, so that can be addressed later, but hard copies are still outrageous. The same goes for movies. Various companies have started to offer some music for more reasonable pricing, but it's almost too little, too late. Granted though, it has converted me into a faithful purchaser as opposed to pirate.

2) The RIAA needs to understand that their very aggressive and even predatory legal wrangling only hurts their image more and gives the pirates a feeling of self-righteousness that could well be justified. Nevermind the fact that they have often lost these based on the lack of sufficient evidence and even very broad speculation. The only case they've won yet was basically a swindle, since the prosecution made damn sure that the jury was technologically incompetent. I do, however, agree that there needs to be some punishment for piracy, as any theft should be prosecuted. Therefore, I propose the following structure:

If a pirate is caught in the act, and sufficient evidence has been obtained against them, then the RIAA could offer an amnesty to them, if they pay a reasonable sum of $1.10 per song they are accused of downloading/sharing. The $1.00 base fee is the same as most download services. The extra $.10 is sort of an interest or damages fee. It's also reasonable because if you steal, it's acceptable to be punished for it fairly. It also discourages people from downloading complacently with the idea of "Oh, well, if I get caught, I just pay for what I downloaded and that's that." If the accused denies their culpability in the matter, then fine, they can go to trial, whereupon they can face the full wrath of the RIAA, and could legally be responsible for the damages they so often cite. Fair enough?

Now for the pirates:

3) Stealing is wrong, plain and simple. Sure, it's easy to get caught up in the "Well, it's just borrowing from a friend" mentality, or even the "Well, I wouldn't if they didn't charge so much." But think of the alternatives. Tons of free internet based radio and video, cheap sources of legitimate music, and if all else fails, not horribly priced music available for download from various stores.