And for every person that downloads stuff, there is a person like me who goes out of their way to purchase content I like. Best example: My best friend, who used to write for the Kansas City Star, has written 2 books of poetry. When I learned this, I went to Amazon and looked them up and bought them. When he learned I had done this, he said to me that I didn't have to buy them, he would have given me copies. I replied that wasn't the point - I wanted to support him as an artist.
I appreciate iTunes and Amazon's Mp3 stores for giving free tracks away. They have lead me to buy new artists, people I've never bought before, because I like their work and want to make sure they keep creating new work. The same for Starbuck's weekly free track.
Piracy opened my eyes to the idea that my money goes to the artist in support of their work. So in that sense, it served a real purpose, to alert me to "vote with my feet" and spend my money where my own self-interest lies.
I bought my iPhone 3GS from Brian last year. When AT&T was rude to me and Apple's online store told me I had to drive into downtown Kansas City to get my phone, I went to Best Buy as a last-ditch effort to buy the phone. Brian was great, courteous, efficient, and even up-sold me to buy a slipcover and some more earphones. I was so happy to leave with a working iPhone when the major players (Apple, ATT) were so screwed up.
In fact, I was happy enough that I wrote an email to the manager of that store, telling them what a great employee they had. And now this. Obviously corporate face-saving is more important than retaining a good employee that pleases customers.
And that, my friends, is why we have such things as PIN codes to lock our phones. Hardly anyone uses them. They "take too much time" or "they irritate me." Better a moment of inconvenience than giving access to anyone that picks up your phone.
Folks, we're in the Information Age. That means information = power. The more of your own info you keep to yourself, the happier (and safer) you will be. If you don't use a PIN code, set one now. Here's hoping you keep all your data safe.
The best example of fan fic not being evil is Star Trek. Paramount obviously owns the copyrights of ST, but has turned a blind eye to fan fic for decades. I hardly think Paramount is in danger of losing the ST brand to a bunch of fans. On the contrary, the fans have kept ST alive for decades and Paramount is smart enough to know and recognize the passion of Trekkers who write fan fic.
I'm firmly of the belief that it's no longer a case of, "information wants to be free," or even, "we want information to be free." The sciences have always operated on different rules than business. Where would we be if Albert Einstein had copyrighted his famous equation? Where would we be if Newton had copyrighted his work in physics, optics, calculus?
I believe we've reached the point in human evolution where it's quickly becoming a case of, "we NEED information to be free." I believe this is especially true in the software industry. Size of most commercial programs (like Microsoft office or the Linux kernel) are composed of thousands of lines of code. We are already to the point where most software projects require armies of coders. We need to be building on previous work, instead of continually reinventing the wheel.
The technology curve is accelerating. We (IT people and geeky hobbyists) know this. The business people don't. I agree with the Slashdot poster's opinion, the current generation is going to change the face of the entire world. As Bob Dylan said, "your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly aging. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand for the times they are a changin"
If they want us to quit creating lyric sites and apps, why don't they give us the !@!$@# lyrics in the first place? They should be included with digital downloads. They don't provide them, then stop any means of getting them. What is their rationale? I don't understand this at all. I think they're all high on something.
I'm curious to know what the MPAA (and RIAA) would think about loaning a DVD or CD to my brother. Then my neighbor. Then my neighbor on the other side of me. Then to (eventually) everyone on the block. Oh, and all my family.
Have I infringed? Are those viewings "piracy?" As the above-mentioned organizations count them, probably. Especially when they jack up their bogus numbers of "sales lost to piracy." But technically, I haven't broken any law that I know of.
Now what's the difference with streaming my movie collection over the internet?
Microsoft would have taken the guy's idea, released it as their own, and incorporated it into the OS so it couldn't be removed, making the original owner's product redundant and irrelevant, driving him out of business.
I have to agree with "A Man": get rid of the gimmicky ads.
I will absolutely NOT watch an ad that instantly starts video (sans audio) and asks me to click it to get the sound.
Nor will I patronize any brand that uses the ads that expand if you happen to mouse over them and then you have click "close" to get them to go away.
I will never buy anything from someone that uses a floating window above the content I wanted to read and makes me click "close."
I won't use any service (Netflix or otherwise) that manages to open an ad window behind my browser window, especially if they did it by going around my popup blocker.
Advertisers need to be content with us just SEEING their ads. Quit trying to force us to watch videos or have to close windows/floaters/etc. to get to our content. Frankly, it puts me off of a site if I know they use that sort of advertising.
@ Weird Harold - No, the film was copied, not stolen. Stealing implies a loss of an object by the rightful owner. Fox still has possession of the movie. One of their people copied the film and dropped it into the internet.
One of the major problems with the copyright hounds is that they purposely fudge their words and terminology to confuse the issue. Someone released an unauthorized copy. No one stole anything.
..has been lost, I think. What the writer, Mr. Masnick, was getting at is that the BRC (Big Record Companies) could very easily duplicate Disney's model. Warner is already debuting songs in TV shows (Smallville is one) that helps promote sales. They could also give stuff with CD's or MP3 downloads that can only be gotten by purchasing them legitimately - how about "I support (insert artist here)" bumper stickers that teens would collect just to show off how many CD's/MP3's and artists they own.
The BRC's got stupid and went about this all wrong. I remember the days of vinyl records. It was possible to bootleg someone's copy by taping it, but by buying the album you got cover art, lyrics, and often posters. (The posters were the best because they annoyed your parents almost as much as the music.)
When CD's came out, they got cheap and stopped doing all that. Now with digital distribution they want the same prices (bigger margins than CD's) but aren't willing to give any goodies to sell them.