The real issue here is that the economy of each country is not the same. A CD that sells for $10 in the US might only sell for a fraction of that in another country. In order to stay competitive in that country, they have to price at maybe $2. The local distributor licenses from them at a price in consequence of that $2 retail price.
This is entirely a business model decision. No one is forcing them to charge different prices. Maybe that business model worked great for the last century, but if the world has changed such that this business model no longer works then they need to move on. Why should we be restricting consumer rights just so that they can continue to use their chosen business model that relies on (now) artificial scarcity?
Replace 'campaign contributions' with 'votes' and you have a perfect description of how the system was designed to work. And really, contributions are votes, just indirectly.
If the people who supply the votes (ie the population) demanded their Reps push policies based on evidence, policies would be pushed based on evidence. But we don't. Fault ultimately lies with the voting populace, as it always does in the representative system.
The thing this fails to mention is that is that the content absolutely IS "available under 100% [my] terms", just not from a source he approves of. But that's his problem, not mine. My problem is that I want the content, and if the only way to get it how I want it is piracy then piracy is going to be where I turn. His problem is how to make me get the content from an "approved" source, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that not making the content available at any approved sources is not a way to win this battle.
I'll give you that it's a bit ridiculous to treat higher stock prices as a raise, but on the other hand would you expect the stock of a "decimated" company to be rising so fast? Shouldn't they be crashing?
But like most of these companies, they're making plenty of money. They're just greedy, though only insofar as any business is greedy. They see unauthorized uses, add up the licensing fees they think they deserve for that, and say "well we could be making more money". Any company would do the same, but it's still missing the main points that are made repeatedly here: 1) those unauthorized uses are part of the reason they're making so much money to begin with and 2) squeezing every penny out of our culture (music, movies, books, and so on are, to an extent, what define our culture after all) at the cost of limiting our access to that culture is not a fair trade.
These companies could make plenty of money while also improving everyone's access to our cultural output, but they choose to only see the direct money side of the equation and fail at the rest. That's where the point of contention lies IMO.
People don't disagree with the MPAA numbers simply because they're the MPAA's numbers, they disagree because they think the "1 download = 1 lost sale" is a poor way to measure the impact of piracy. Unless you find a similar problem with the method used here, I don't see what your point is.
I think this is the sad truth. The record label thought process will go roughly:
1) this does not immediately make money and allows people to listen to music for free
2) we could shut this down and then people will be forced to buy this music if they want to hear it
3) when people buy music, we win moneys
However, this still seems like it could be amazing for independent artists, and if it really works well there the labels might actually give it a shot. Maybe.
I've started using Amazon's cloud for everything Apple put out today, but up until just a few weeks ago I would've agreed with you. However, it's just easier this way. I have a phone, tablet, and several computers I want my music on. Rather than copying off my central storage to each device individually, I just uploaded it and now I have it everywhere, anywhere. And I can download it to any device I want it on. The old self-storage model worked great for me up to a point, and I honestly never thought a cloud service would appeal to me, but once you get a whole bunch of devices it's just too much effort to keep everything up to date with new music and such. It was starting to get unwieldy. This is much better.
I still don't see what's so great about Apple's offering, though. There dig on it taking weeks was a little ridiculous. It took ~3 days, which was annoying, but that's once ever. Not a big deal. I guess the key for Apple is their trademark seamlessness, but just in terms of features I'm a bit disappointed.
This has nothing to do with bandwidth. That bandwidth isn't coming from the *AA, it's coming from the service. If the service doesn't want a user to double up on their bandwidth they can easily limit the number of simultaneous streams per user to one.
I don't know what you're disagreeing with... you're making the exact same point I am. They should serve and represent us, and if they don't it's our responsibility to remove them from office. The politicians are certainly not blameless, far from it, but the fault ultimately lies with us for not exercising our oversight.
I didn't say anywhere that you could fix it. But remember that the "babble of idiocy" is just other voters. I'm not saying this is your fault specifically, oh well informed voting citizen, but it's the populace in general. And unfortunately, we, the (relatively) well informed and interested, are vastly outnumbered by those who spread and swallow the mass idiocy.
But all of this doesn't change the fact that the fault lies with the public who allow this to continue. The politicians and corporations can only do what we let them get away with.
Ok, I'll grant you this. We have a lot of policies which unintentionally and intentionally prop up the two party system. Third parties have a tough time. That said, in any given election you can still vote for whoever you want, not just a D or an R, and independents/third parties do win elections here and there, especially at lower levels of government. And again, we could easily elect people who would actually work on fixing the system, but we don't. Our fault.
Anyone can run for office. The two party system is merely something we allow to continue, not something that's codified. So vote for someone else.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sound overly optimistic here. The general population who uncritically lap up all the politicians' bullshit vastly (vastly) outnumber the people who pay attention and care. Your vote will probably disappear into the abyss and a new corporate shill will get elected no matter what you do.
I'm not trying to spread hope, I just wish people would realize that the problems we continually face are not the fault of anyone but ourselves. We have control over our government and just because we wholeheartedly fail at wielding it doesn't shift the blame to anyone else. It's still our fault.
No no no no no! I'm so, so tired of seeing this. Look, you can still vote and so can everyone else. If politicians are listening to money over voters it's because voters aren't making themselves heard. We literally have direct control over these people's jobs, yet they're not listening to us? And yet we keep rehiring them every chance we get? If a manager kept hiring terrible employees wouldn't you eventually decide the manager is doing a poor job?
I hate seeing people blame "the politicians" or "the corporations"; no, this is all on the voting populace. On us. Shirking blame onto someone else is only an excuse to avoid the truth: in a democracy the people get the government they deserve, and we have that government.
I actually have to disagree a bit here. Things like first rights and such are a form of scarce goods in my mind. Only one publication will have first access to your art, and it seems to me that getting something for that scarcity makes sense.
But I think there needs to be a balance. Holding all your work like this would be a mistake; you're missing out on all the publicity and fan connections and such that are discussed often around here. But using some of your work in order to promote your other work that you hope to sell in this manner makes sense to me. Or perhaps you could hold onto all or most of your work but make stuff that's already been published for "awhile" (weeks, months, years... whatever makes sense to the artist) available for free and reap the same benefits.
As always, there's all kinds of room to maneuver and experiment here, but I think in general the idea of trying to sell first right to publish is not a bad one, it just shouldn't be the only aspect of your business model.
I really think patents should be variable length depending on their industry. Software patents, if allowed at all, shouldn't last more than a year or two. Software just moves so quickly that anything more kills innovation. On the other hand, pharma patents should probably last longer because of the huge costs they need to recoup. I still think more than 15 years or so is ridiculous, though.
Shorter copyright makes perfect sense. Why are we worried if the Stones can keep making money off 50 year old music? Copyright should be encouraging new art, not encouraging artists to sit on their decades old art. I'd be ok with 15-20 years even, but anything longer is actively discouraging new works IMO, which hurts everyone.
As for TVLand, they could still have a station playing old content. In fact, having that content in the public domain would lower their costs. If they can't make a profit because the content is available elsewhere, then why are we worried about them? Lots of businesses fail, why do they get a free pass? If the content is available elsewhere then they're not providing any additional value, so what's the point?
Finally, I disagree with you on trademark. It should exist, and if a company doesn't think it's worth creating their brand they don't have to have a trademark. That's up to them. But trademark actually seems to work pretty well even in its current state. I like the idea of 10 year (or so) renewals, but that's a fairly minor tweak.
"They gloss over the fact that the domain names were seized because they were property used to commit criminal copyright infringement."
According to who, exactly? You? Some random judge? Certainly not a jury.
Look, I have exactly zero problems with taking sites offline that are breaking the law. I think it's a stupid waste of money and time on the part of the content creators and the government, but if they're breaking the law they have no defense. People will argue that this is a slippery slope, and it is, but at some point, in some way, the law must be enforced.
But that's not what's happening here. In the US we have a very well established, time tested, Constitutionally provided way of determining who is breaking the law. It's called a jury trial. Until these sites have gone through a jury trial they haven't been proven to be breaking the law, and I cannot accept property seizures before proof of law breaking. The ability for the government to seize private property at will is a giant step towards tyranny. The fact that private businesses, with no avenue for public oversight, are directing the seizures is 10 times worse.
Have a trial, prove their guilt, then deal with them as the law sees fit. That's how it's done. You can't just skip to "deal with them". I don't see why this is so hard to understand.