Thursday, April 23, 2009

Piracy - Garrrr

Okay, this is going to be a bit of a rant, I need to get this off my chest before I go on the rampage. I'm not in any way condoning the practise of copying media that you do not own but

COPYING SOFTWARE/MEDIA FILES IS NOT PIRACY. It's not even theft!

I think the image below expresses my feelings appropriately:


Peer-to-peer networking is a useful tool, it is not the exclusive realm of the "Pirate", [oh fuck, I can't even say pirate. - ed] Lets try it again
It's not the realm of the person that wants to copy files across the network (internet/LAN) that they do not hold copyright licenses for.

In my opinion, the judgment in the PirateBay.org case was incorrect, they are merely providing an information repository that does not in any way contain copyrighted files.
The decision to find them guilty in this case was incredibly poor judgment, take this for example.
You burn a DVD containing several MP3 files for your "Friend", you post it to him/her but forget to put enough postage on it. The post office holds it and tell your "Friend" to come and collect it.
Are they in breach of copyright? Of course not. The same should have applied to PirateBay.

Next on my list, "Downloading films is stealing" trailers on every bloody DVD that you BUY.

How mentally retarded are these people? They are effectively encouraging people not to buy films if they put these ridiculous trailers at the start of every film that in some cases you can't skip through. I bought your bloody DVD now fuck off and let me watch it. You don't get these stupid messages on pirate DVDs!

And Another Thing, when your message goes
You Wouldn't steal a Purse
You Wouldn't steal a Car
etc.
You bloody well would if you could download it off the internet as IT'S NOT STEALING

Downloading ALL your media from the internet should be ENCOURAGED, the Record Companies/Movie Studios/Rights Holders could make even MORE money if they distributed it via the internet, think about it. No packaging costs, no delivery costs (You, yes you in the back, shut up about bandwidth, it's something I'll come to in another post), quicker delivery times.
My "proposal" goes like this.

No DRM on the media (as its stupid and retarded and an inconvenience and useless, did I mention it was stupid?) - Saves people the inconvenience of having to rip/extract/convert to all their different media players. By extension don't pick a dumb (not open) file type - I'm looking at you WMV/M4P etc.

People pay a monthly subscription to download a limited/unlimited amount, categorised by the bandwidth consumed, NOT the quantity of items DL'ed. You want to download the unlimited amount? pay more, you only want a few movies/songs a month, a lower tariff for you.

New Releases - Available online at the same time as DVD release

I think that this will work (i.e. be profitable) for a few reasons
1. The Content Delivery Mechanism already exists and is a mature technology
2. The absence of DRM encourages people to use it as they KNOW it will work on "their" device be it a set top box, and iPod, a Zune, a PSP etc etc
3. Yes, you will get people on the "unlimited" plan ripping the arse out of it (you could establish a "fair usage" case but don't dare call it an "unlimited" plan) BUT by the same criteria the majority of users will play fair. Some of them will probably download an incredible amount in the first 2-3 months but after that will only download a limited selectio, if for example they only download files every 2 months THIS IS FREE MONEY.

So to sum up
Peer To Peer networking == Good and can be profitable for the "studios"
Peer To Peer networking != Piracy
Copyright Infringement != Theft
Copyright Infringement != Piracy
Piracy == Stealing Shit on The High Seas

5 comments:

Dave MacLeod said...

Fine rant. Fair enough, I wouldn't steal a car, but if a friend has just bought a new Ferrari and calls offering to make me a free, exact copy of his, I'd probably say "yes".

Daniel said...

Dave, that's exactly what I mean, you wouldn't call it stealing at all would you?

mauvedeity said...

Excellent rant! Well said.

And there was me thinking I was the only one who sat there during the "You wouldn't steal..." bits on DVDs, wondering who they were talking to.

Andrew said...

The absence of DRM encourages people to use it as they KNOW it will work on "their" device

Lack of DRM makes interoperability a heck of a lot easier, and makes it actually possible with "Free Software" systems.

But there's more to "will it work on my device" than DRM: there's the thorny issue of different codecs, most of which are patented and may require licencing by the media creator or the device manufacturer, or often both.

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