Sunday, May 14, 2006

Downloading is Just Like Slitting Throats

Cue Rant

Does anybody remember when VHS came out, and it turned out that people could record all their favorite shows, watch them at their leisure and even fastforward through commercials?

Remember how those dastardly VHS tapes completely destroyed the TV and movie industries?

Remember how recordable audio tapes made it unnecessary to purchase music from a label?

Media companies are trying more and more desperate tactics every week to try and fight piracy. Their efforts are counterproductive.

They want to use the EU's new automated data-archiving system (itself a troubling development) to try and catch illegal downloaders.

Stories like that make me, in the spirit of Mencken, hoist the black flag.

When I hear how the telcos want to kill net neutrality I strap on a cutlass. When I hear about the latest malware DRM I raise the mizzenmast. When I hear about the drive to force DVR users to watch commercials I pack my pistol full of powder.

Every time the music industry whines about decreasing sales as they ripoff both artists and consumers and push pap through radio and MTV I look around for free, underground musicians. When I cruise through Best Buy and see that CDs are selling for the same price, or more, than they were six years ago, I grow ever closer to downloading, illegally or on iTunes. At least online I can go song-by-song instead of making a fifteen dollar bet that a band has more than one decent song.

Seven dollars for a matinee show at a movie theater. Double that and I can own the DVD. Sure, I don't get the "experience," but being crammed into a rickety seat while the jackass behind me kicks every two minutes isn't impressing me anymore.

The fact is, media companies no longer have any imaginations when it comes to business models. They rely on sure things and ad blitzes and bullshit marketing execs. The more they push to regulate, the more they cozy up to politicians, the more they treat consumers like criminals, hell, the more consumers they actually prosecute for piracy, the more I want to see them fall.

I'm well aware of commercial concerns and people wanting to get paid for their work. Then I read about Sony wasting both time and money trying to get PS3 Blu-Ray DRM, and I'm inclined to tell them to go fuck themselves.

End Rant.

PS - Blogger has flagged my blog as a spam blog. Maybe it's trying to tell me something?


Anonymous said...

If you're down as a spam blog, it might be because someone else is copying your content wholesale and then adding spam, and blogger can't work out who is the genuine article. Worth checking out with a few Google searches on sentences from your older articles, maybe.

Patrick Dugan said...

I can't help but get a Hakim Bey vibe from this one.