You must have grown up in some sheltered and privileged existence where you have never dealt with real people. Like something right out of a idealized collectible plate - Norman Rockwell eat your heart out. You probably believe that the 50s were some ideal time when values were true and the american dream was some noble and virtuous thing. Crazy, i tell you. Almost like dealing with a 14 year-old teenager who believes that it makes perfect sense that everyone even the animals should be vegetarians. You must work for the government or some big corporation or university that your dad go you into.
Have you run the numbers on what sells and what a business model is? Real people don't care about customer service - they flock to walmart or buy things that make them appear better to their friends -then let it roll over and die when trends change. Only old people and loners value customer service about the product's inherent value to them. They will sell something at gouge prices if it suits their purpose then complain when they need to spend extra dime on an apple that they got cheaper the day before. People are scum. They will wax noble when their business is in line with the current trend but scream corruption when their industry, job, or investment goes south. Copyright law is unilateral and profit driven - there is nothing noble or pro-society, in the sense of being pro-'healthy'-meritocratic, about it. Have you ever worked for any of the big content providers? Would you say they are role models of good employers - fully participating in providing support for schools, libraries, and communities? Don't engage in corporate espionage or political influence? Provide a full range of stimulating and open content not driven by a small slice of profitable demographic? I would hazard to say that the world you think we should be living in is a drab and low content system with a very limited range of creativity and stimulation. But, i worry not, for the harder one holds to convictions in this world, the more likely they are to have their rigid existence shatter when smaller more dynamic corporations embrace the populist notions and shrug off old-school corporate protectionism - witness the social media revolution as corporations try to 'friend' their customers - harder when you victimize them. Customer service just became reputation and street cred - not very compatible with a business model that hates on sharing.
Everyone here tries to claim some kind of moral high ground. BS.
If you were in the recording industry you would want to preserve your income stream whether you deserve it or not. You are all, likely, living in a rich world country, yet you monopolize the world's wealth rather than redistributing it, spiting the idea that the net happiness of the world would go up.
The big fallacy of this post and (with all due respect) this blog, is that there seems to be some ridiculous assumption that people in general are good. They're not. They are greedy, lazy, and stupid - and I am one of the worst. But that does not mean they're evil, they are just self-interested (to put it politely) and it is only the position that they find themselves in (luck) that determines how that self-interest manifests itself. So why don't we just throw up our hands and say, what's the point, it's just a slow spiral to the bottom as we fight each other and complain about the government, RIAA, etc. Because, amazingly, there are many industries that realize this and there is even one force out there that not only overcomes this self-interest, but feeds it and is fed by it. So how do you pull anything good out of a society that is made up of greedy, lazy, and stupid people? You play to that in them and then improve the world behind the scenes without them knowing it. And this is what technology has been doing for ever - it is the only reason that we have survived as a society. Technology addresses and even promotes and is even supported by technology. For example - greed? technology increases the income you get by getting more productivity out of any service or product you provide without doing anything (maybe a small upgrade investment). laziness - technology automates many tasks and creates increased productivity for time spent. Stupid - technology removes us from most of the understanding and details of the work we do yet somehow we cant still get ahead - like how our cars work, etc. Just don't' tell people this, let them believe they legitimately worked for it.
So, its time to get away from this notion that we as copyright violators have some kind of high moral ground - we just happen to find ourselves on the wrong side of the content supply-demand curve (we want and at present do not have) - like most people in african countries.
So, do the content providers through copyright have some moral high ground in saying what we are doing is wrong - yes. The free distributing of content is removing wealth from the system. Many could argue that this is lining the pockets of the wealthy more than it is being re-distributed. So what? Consumption raises all boats, even if it raises the greedy one's disproportionately more, society in net benefits. Consumption breeds technology which actually gets us to a world worth living in - post-scarcity. But we will not get there by choosing to devalue products. Corporations are under no obligation to be fair and just with their pricing. They don't charge the amount they need plus a profit - they charge as much as the market will bear - they will gouge if possible. And despite this, is this improving the world, of course. As prices go up so does people's desire to make themselves more valuable - work harder, get a raise, get a promotion, start your own business. It is the aggregate value of all the people in the country that matter, because that turns the wheels that push progress. Consume, Innovate. Consume. Innovate. wash and repeat. Soon technology will take us past the need for artificial scarcity, because we will start to be so good at creating our own content. Ding. ding. So don't rag on content providers fro being capitalist evil pigs - beat them at their own game. Get a better job, buy their crap any way, and use it to learn and better yourself and create your own content. Everybody wins. The concept that goes unrealized: everybody wins. However, if you can't' afford the content because you're in the midst of bettering yourself then ok take, but don't pretend what you're is noble. Bottom line point: better yourself first, complain about content providers and copyright second. Takeaway message: more worldwide wealth (read: human career worth) is the end goal -until post-scarcity society, that is.
Even though the pigs can occasionally pop their heads above the muck, they choose to stay in their sties. I suppose all the complaining and recycled non-answers at least give something to talk about round the cooler, rather than pursuing thoughtful real change. Hint: the whole system is broken and its not the labels, government, and judiciary - its the public. At least there is that truism: the people really get the government and 'system' they deserve.
An interesting series of mini-tantrums by everyone here all used before by people smarter than us, with varying levels of support, etc. Though, I don't think I have seen so many all compressed in a single post.
- It all depends on what kind of world you want. If you appreciate a law of the jungle mentality, you will have a certain value system. If you are a connoisseur and have the means to support your appreciation of hard work-supported quality you will want another. My guess is that there is far, far more of the former than the latter, especially in this medium. And the population at large accept it for lack of a comparison.
- in general, people are lazy, greedy, and stupid, though not necessarily evil. It has just been culturally accepted everywhere. Lazy - People will do as little as possible to achieve as little as they can get away with - all aspects of work and play. They don't see any problem with this. Greedy - People want raises but give no evidence of having gained any extra value - is someone with 20 years of experience more valuable than 15 - doubt it. Stupid - they are willing to undertake a task with little knowledge of how to do it, no understanding of the big picture, and no appreciation of those who would help or teach them how to do it.
- art in all its forms is not a viable career and has limited value to the important issues affecting the world and its improvement. It is a hobby and pastime - one that we should all be given enough time off work (real) to do and freely distribute. The ideal system is where everyone gets a technical education - blue or white collar and produces works of art on the side, performance, visual, aural, etc. More art in the world, but more of a long tail of quality -- but with widespread sharing and support, i would bet that people produce the type of art they want, not what production houses demand, and eventually larger bodies of really insightful and inspiring work is created. Better for everyone.
And these issues are why so many people pirate, have a poor work ethic, do not appreciate nor understand quality, rebel and 'occupy' for no good reason, feel disenfranchised, etc. Of course, don't tell the artists any of these reasons for they will rebel out of spite rather than the traditional non-causes.