Thursday, April 06, 2006

Anti-piracy op-ed

here in The Age.
This highlights the shallowness of the debate about downloading music - it's bad and you shouldn't do it and we're gonna sue.
The blunt fact of the matter is that the market structure surrounding the music industry is entirely geared toward enriching the producers, not the artists (-the megastars who help fuel the dream). People like being able to download songs yet there are very few ways to do this, even iTunes is recent and I shudder to think how much smooth talking Jobs had to do to get that through.
As for the the 'you're destroying artists careers' argument, this just doesn't stack up. For a singer songwriter to earn $50,000 a year (not a bad wage) all you'd need is 100,000 people paying $0.50 per year to belong to your fan club. Feed out a few songs per month (you're a professional musician aren't you?) and build a culture of 'i got it first because i'm a member' and don't worry about the fact that it'll eventually bleed onto the net - it becomes advertising 1 month after distrbution. This is just one plausible business scenario, throw in a few sponsorships, some live gigs and product promos and WOW! it's just like any other service industry...
Most copyright protection is a con by rent seeking fat cats, it deserves to be treated with disdain and government regulations should reflect this.
Protect the commons! Seek out and destroy the rentseekers! Hunt and obliterate stupid laws against format/time-shifting! Egalitaire, libertaire and the other one-aire!


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