By Harry McCracken | Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm
In Wired, my friend Paul Boutin makes an obviously true point which I’m sure some folks will reflexively dispute: You should pay for your music, and there’s no reason not to do so.
So what about in Canada, where it's assumed that every customer who buys a spool of blank CDs is going to pirate music, and is charged a levy to compensate the artists? And where, furthermore, said artists are lobbying the government to once again consider an "iPod tax" that would extend the levy to portable music players? Could this not be legally construed as a licence to download free music? In fact, haven't the Canadian courts said as much already?
I'm opposed to such fees, and glad I don't have to pay them.
What about in countries where the big e-music stores do not operate?
Anyway, the linked article is ridiculous from many ponts of view. I stopped reading when it implied 128kbs was undistinguishable from CD-quality.
He has some points but ignores the reality. The music industry refused to sell music for SO long, it became ingrained to go to pirates. It'll take a generation to reverse that trend.
I for one am sick of the argument "I can't afford it therefore it's OK to steal". I wish those whiny teenagers would just get on with their lives like the rest of us.
There are a couple of issues here that I can see. First is the distinction as to who gets paid. The rallying cry is always ‘creators/artists/authors/musicians need to be paid!’ but most of the money goes to the publishers, the printers, the record labels, movie studios, lawyers, accountants, and ‘rightsholders.’ And it’s the big corporate lobbying groups that are pushing the law to serve themselves, at home and around the globe.
Second is the result of the lobbying groups as far as extension of copyright protection, DMCA, ACTA, and getting the FBI to serve as the corporate security guards and detectives. As soon as any population begins to believe that the law does not serve or represent them, but only serves the ruling class that oppresses the rest, history shows us that people start breaking the law. They lose respect for a particular law and the government that enforces it; then they lose respect for more laws and the cops, whom they see as corporate or ruling class thugs.
Things only get worse from there on.
So the only way to escape this vicious spiral that I can see is to:
1. Make sure that the money users pay goes to the actual creators and the lawyers and executives and publishers only get say an agent’s fee of around 10% of all that we pay;
2. Make copyright laws more reasonable and representative of ALL the society, not just the lobbyists for the big industries.