Given the small amounts used in everyday cooking, spending a little more to get much healthier cooking fats (coconut oil, ghee, lard) is one of the smartest and cheapest ways to start eating healthier. You're right that price is a driving factor of cooking oils, but the high amounts of terrible fats combined with the low oxidization point make canola a terrible cooking fat.
Just to nit-pick a little bit: piracy is lucrative. Since money is fungible, every time I don't spend money on something that I pirate, it frees up money for something else.
I say this knowing that a download is not a lost sale, but if there's ever a time where you would have bought something but pirated instead, that is a lucrative act.
Piracy is a nice thing for the end user, and content creators need to recognize that they're competing with that. They need to focus on making money, not stopping piracy, even when it is a lucrative act.
I think they do compete in a lot of ways. I think your point shouldn't be that pirated movies don't compete with the theater experience, but rather, pirated movies are only one (really) small substitute in a large universe of substitutes for movie theaters. These substitutes include arcades, cable TV, live sports, satellite, broadcast TV, and on and on and on.
What you mention re: the big screen, sound, etc., should be thought of as the competitive advantage of theaters against the possible substitutes.
What they should be doing is emphasizing the competitive advantages that you rightly point out. Compete better against what are admittedly substitutes.
The rights holder does have a monopoly on his content. That is, he is the sole owner of the particular content. In that sense, copyright is a true monopoly.
Now, to be fair, economists like to talk about substitutes in the discussion of monopolies, which I think might be the point you're trying to make. It's certainly true that for most copyrighted products there are plentiful substitutes. That's what keeps the costs down and makes the monopoly rent somewhat less.
This. I think most people, even copyright minimalists, do have a problem with the counterfeiting part; that is, passing a copy off as the real thing. I wish that copyright was more concerned with the traditional concern of trademark, namely consumer confusion.
This is a classic example of the 'rational voter.' The diffuse interests of the people who want to be able to use content legitimately are spread out. Only a very few have a significant financial stake in the outcome. Additionally, because there are so many people in a similar situation, it's incredibly easy to free ride on the efforts of the others.
For the content providers, though, they have a huge financial interest. Also, because there are only a few players, the opportunity for free-riding is very small.
This outcome is very predictable: It's very hard to get motivated to send letters like that.
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