Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Illegal vs legal downloads online...

As a music lover and consumer I used Napster (the illegal version!) to download obscure stuff that a) wasn't available on any album I could order and b) couldn't be legally bought online.

A decade later the music industry's only solution to the Internet is to prosecute those who use the opportunity to get music in a simpler and more deversified way than any commercial/legal on- or offline shop can do.

At a recent hearing in the USA the only thing the media industry could come up with was policing the Internet. Quote from the New York Times:
One of the strongest possible measures was offered by Steven Soderbergh, who testified as a vice president of the Directors Guild of America. He proposed that the entertainment industry be “deputized to solve our own problems,” under a model that is being tried in France.
And so on...

The solution is from a consumer's point of view extremely simple:

1 - Record companies, movie companies and such should get ALL the stuff in the vaults online for ALL the world to access. And in all qualities from compressed to linear.

2 - Get some new contracts written where the laws accept that as far as the Internet goes the planet is one entity, not a bunch of countries. That way any consumer anywhere can buy anuthing ... legally. And the person(s) who created the music/movie/whatever can be compensated.

The current state of things where numbskull countries make laws that give private companies the right to act as police is in my eyes just a way to keep alive an outdated way to market and and sell music/movies/whatever. Madness... Will the artist or consumer benifit? No. The companies? Yes. In the short run.

* * *

I bought my first record in the late 60's. A vinyl single.

In the early 80's I read an article about this new thing called "CD" that would arrive soon and sound so much better than vinyl.

In the 90's I was surprised to find that the local stores were dumping vinyl and making room for CD-only shelves.

It's 2009 and even though I'm 50 this year I can see what's coming; Five years from now most of the music and movies will be sold online.

And I still can't find a legal copy online of that song I downloaded illegally more than 10 years ago...


Gina said...

yes. yes. no and yes. it remains an interesting topic! and you are right. so much stuff is out of print and even if you want it legal, the concern is not whether it is available legal, but if it is worth the trouble/makes a profit.

not in it for the music.
those in the music industry.

Neb & Siggy said...

I wonder if the music industry ever has been in it for the music and not the profit? I know the story goes like that, but it's really akin to the "free" and wonderful 60's when everyone was a flower child and sex was free. Bah! Hubug! But that's the history we're fed to be able to rehash Woodstock's 40th anniversary.

The interresting thing in Sweden of Pirate Bay fame is that the only discussion is if the downloaders are crooks or not, not if the government is right in adjusting the laws to help big business chase the downloaders to cement an old business model or what the future of the music business is.

Sadly there's nothing pushing the industry towards making everything in the vaults available when the majority of consumers will be happy enough buying the latest Top 20 or flash-in-the-pan artists.

Making everything available online would probably cost more than it gave.

It's all about the bottom line...