Here's the thing, though. Do the Chinese companies really want their working conditions to improve? Will the improved conditions cost more than the employee turnover, and could that cause outsourcing companies to choose another destination for the sweatshops?
Hypocrite. You accuse pirates of being "parasites", when they can already download songs for free, yet they're happy to shell out money to go to concerts and support the artists they like.
Most people have the dignity, sense of morality and common sense to know that if they don't support the artists they like, those artists will stop making music. You seem to lack those qualities; there was a chance you were being sarcastic, but then you admitted you weren't!
You even go as far as to state that you don't want artists to get paid because you can save money. Seriously?
I thought IP lawyers and similar bottom-feeders were playing the sly game to keep artists thinking they're on their side. Seems like you suck at that game.
The accepted rule does not involve government-granted monopolies on intangible ideas. Intangible ideas are not subject to the rules of supply and demand.
Communism? Do you even know what that means? If anything reeks of socialism, it's the government handing out monopolies left and right -- especially when said monopolies overrule physical property rights.
"All rights reserved" copyright needs to end, period. Content producers can have the privilege of a limited commercial-only monopoly to incentivise them to publish, but there's no way that monopoly should be allowed to infringe on individuals' rights with surveillance and draconian anti-circumvention clauses or to censor the internet.
Don't delude yourself. There are thousands upon thousands of new content creators waiting for a break, and if some existing creators don't like those terms they are free to step aside and make way for others to take their place. Life will go on and they will not be missed.
I'm pretty sure they can't actually sue anyone until they have some evidence that their music was played. They can make threats, of course, but it's about time that people start seeing through those!
Small business owners should get together and start a system to fight back. They would need two things:
1) written contracts with the bands, with explicit clauses not to play BMI/ASCAP-licensed music and with penalty of termination if they do. Should the business owner catch a band playing the wrong songs, he must enforce the contract and throw the band out. If things go wrong, the buck should stop with the band and not with the venue.
2) some sort of visible mark at the entrance that warns the BMI types that the venue they are looking at has such contracts in place.
Of course, there's not much point for the BMI types to go after the bands because the venues have more money. That means they'll try to fight this tooth and nail at first. I don't know what precedents there are for this sort of thing, but it sounds like this may be the only way out (and forward).
The people you were responding to you don't like locked-in products for ideological reasons. It's really not an issue of things running out of the box vs things needing a bit more setting up, that's quite irrelevant to the discussion.
You just have to accept that Microsoft is doing its darnest to undermine open standards. That's just the reality of things. NO amount of Microsoft shilling is going to change anyone's mind about open standards being better than proprietary lock-in.
Larry Lessig told this story in his 2007 TED speech, didn't he? How the ASCAP cartel were being asses to the point that the radio stations were forced to circumvent them -- by starting BMI and recording public domain music that they played instead of ASCAP's stuff, thus pushing ASCAP out of the picture.
Like somebody else has already mentioned, real steam engines were invented by a man called Richard Trevithick while Watt's patents were still in effect.
Watt's engines were the size of a building and, while useful for pumping water out of a mine, weren't suitable for things like locomotives. In fact, Watt's engine did not even use pressurised steam (they depended on the vacuum created by condensing steam), so they were quite inefficient for their size.
Once Watt and Boulton realised that Trevithick invented a steam engine that was superior to theirs, they started a coordinated FUD campaign against the use of pressurised steam, and used their patents to sue Trevithick into bankruptcy. To add insult to injury, they then made a court extend the duration of their patents, so Trevithick never had the opportunity to see steam trains that used his inventions.
Watt died a millionaire; by today's standards, possibly a billionaire.
Trevithick died without a penny to his name.
The first steam trains were introduced about five years after Watt's patents expired.