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The Media and Copyright Violation

Updated on May 21, 2016

For years now we’ve heard about pirates and the money Sony, the movie makers, and even TV stations like HBO etc lose to it. But hold on a minute.

Since real to real tape came to our homes people have been recording songs from radio and sharing them. Then came cassette tapes, then CDs, the Sony Beta Max, VHS, the PVR, for goodness sake.

Why? Who sold these devices to us? Sony for one. The walkman; remember that? MP3, computers. Microsoft used to charge for the codec until open source gave us better ones for free.

All these tech companies created ways for us to record and share music and video, plus they want to sue us for using it. Good way to make more money I suppose.

We were told it’s ok to back up the CDs or tapes etc we buy, but illegal to show those copies to others or god forbid make mixed tapes to give as presents. Sony and others make money selling us music and video we aren’t allowed to share as well as the hardware and software to record and share what we bought. Then they sue people for tens of thousands for each violation. Nice business model.

TV is just as bad. Apparently HBO charges 15000 dollars plus if they catch someone downloading Game Of Thrones. Imagine that. You can watch for free on HBO and stream the series for free from several places if you are with specific providers. But download it and get charged 15000 dollars?

What do they lose when you download? Zero dollars. They get paid by advertizes and subscribers. Some people can’t subscribe if they want to. Are they insane or just the greediest buggers you ever heard of? Nice way to treat fans of the show. I don’t watch it and after finding this out I’ll never watch anything they put out again.

TV shows should become free for everyone after being broadcast. I bought the DVD box set of Fringe even though I can watch it free on the net, and even though I could have copied them and put them on DVD myself at broadcast time. If you really like it you often want a really good copy of it.

Now I understand musicians lose money to downloading. But do they? The question has always been whether CD sales and tour attendance goes up or down by allowing people to listen to lower quality versions of their stuff for free

The problem is; CDs are on their way out. People want MP3s or Flac versions for their mobile devices. It has nothing to do with downloading. Just because someone downloads a piece of music doesn’t mean they would buy it if they couldn’t get it free. And there is zero evidence that the more people who listen to a particular band the less go to their concerts. In fact; there is plenty of evidence that the more people that hear a band’s music and like it enough to have it on their MP3 player, the bigger crowds they draw. Only makes sense, right? So who does it hurt? Record companies.

And again, it’s the customers that have spoken .Records, tapes, and CDs are all but washed up except for purists who still love vinyl and managed to revive it. No, they won’t download; but they are a minority.

The record companies need a new model in changing times.

Movies is a different story, though only slightly. People still go to theatres and still buy DVDs even after seeing a downloaded version. They like it they may want the full effect. But streaming is becoming more popular here too.

Movies cost a lot to make. But let’s face it, how much do they make after the first year? Not that much unless it’s Star Wars or the like. And even then, fans go back to the theatre more than once to see those, and the real money comes from the promotional toys, t shirts, lunch boxes, etc, etc, etc.

I understand why film makers want copyrights. I just think more people would respect their copyright if it were limited to one or two years. After that it’s on DVD and TV and you can PVR it with impunity. Why not be allowed to share it? We could even impose a quality level: After one year you are allowed to share any movie not exceeding SD quality. If you like it, see it in a theatre or buy an HD or better DVD, for an even better experience. I think even torrent site owners could be talked into enforcing that.

The point is, more and more people download. Why do our entertainment and technology companies, who are often one and the same, want to make criminals out of their customers? They sell us the means to copy, play and share the medium they provide, then tell us we are criminals for using their technology to do what its meant to do

A hand gun has one purpose. Not hunting. Killing people. A PVR has one purpose: record TV shows and movies and sports events for later viewing. But don’t bring over the boys for a game you all missed because you had to work. That’s piracy. Really? That’s absurd.

Times are changing. Time to stop treating potential customers of the new models coming down the pike for all entertainment, when these companies finally figure out what the people want, like enemies. Figure out ways to make their desires into a winning business model instead. Come on, you can do it.

And TV stations like HBO, try the Net flicks model. More people would subscribe if anyone could subscribe. Make sense? 5 bucks a month or less since you don’t have a Net flicks volume of content. Should be free. You have advertizing.

Same goes for all TV stations. Broadcast free on the net like you do over air. You get money from advertizing, remember? Now you can reach the entire country.

Cable is on its way out. Mark my words.


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    • Slarty O'Brian profile imageAUTHOR

      Ron Hooft 

      2 years ago from Ottawa

      DNA patents should be illegal except when the DNA is synthetic.

      But you are right, I forgot to mention that I think making money from someone else's work should remain illegal.

      As for cryptography, they have been trying to add anti-copy software for years. Yet device manufacturers often give us ways around it or bypass it, or mods are created. Someone will always find a way.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Interesting take. Recently, I've been hurting my brain about this one as well. If you don't sell what you record from the net, then I think you are fine. The fact that advertising pays the artist or writer is not a reason, however, to simply copy their 'work.' I understand that music can be digitized, but the artist himself cannot. Not yet, anyway.

      And when you think about it, not only will cable disappear, but so will our ability copy art, songs, books etc. Cryptography is expanding. This will ensure that the creators can control their works for as long as they like. We don't have to buy them anyway. We cannot force them to only collect money for a few years.

      I mean we can survive without songs or bad art, but what about DNA patents? Hmmm.


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