Emily WHite, the new 21-year-old intern on NPR’s All Songs Considered says she has a huge song library despite only having purchased 15 CD’s in her life. She explains:
As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize the gravity of what file-sharing means to the musicians I love. I can’t support them with concert tickets and T-shirts alone. But I honestly don’t think my peers and I will ever pay for albums. I do think we will pay for convenience.
What I want is one massive Spotify-like catalog of music that will sync to my phone and various home entertainment devices. With this new universal database, everyone would have convenient access to everything that has ever been recorded, and performance royalties would be distributed based on play counts (hopefully with more money going back to the artist than the present model). All I require is the ability to listen to what I want, when I want and how I want it. Is that too much to ask?
Matt Gemmell has a sober and logical post on piracy and the media industries ineffective and counterproductive ways of combatting it over on his site. It’s from February, but the points raised and ensuing analysis is solid:
The majority of people have a basic desire to be honest – and I mean actually honest, rather than some limited definition based strictly on the law. People will go to reasonable lengths to be honest. It makes us feel good about ourselves, and it confers a certain immunity from legal problems.
But then you fuck us. First you fuck us with exorbitant pricing. Then you fuck us with inconvenience by not making your content universally available when we want it. Then you fuck us by treating every paying customer like a criminal.
Fucked by money, fucked by convenience, and fucked by judgement. We know that you hate us, and you’d better be aware that we absolutely hate you too.
So, since you pushed us too far, we decide to fuck you back, by “stealing” your content. In return, we get a better experience all round than if we’d actually purchased it on your primitive spinning discs or in your Orwellian DRM-encumbered digital formats.
I’m a developer, and I know a lot of other developers. Pretty much everyone I know has purchased some of your DRM-encrusted media, then stripped the DRM so they can consume their media in the way they want to. Pretty much everyone. They don’t see that as a criminal act, and they never will. Similarly, pretty much everyone I know feels that it’s absolutely acceptable to download a digital copy of something they already own on a spinning disc. Both of these common practices indicate that there’s an enormous problem with the “solution” of using DRM.