I’ve been meaning to weigh in, sometime, on the whole copyright war thing. This isn’t going to be much, just an observation or two.
Let’s imagine you create something, but for whatever reason, your creation is really difficult to secure. That is, it’s easy for people to steal. And, in fact, it’s so easy — offered up on a silver platter — that normally good people don’t even think of it as stealing. …People who would never in their lives imagine breaking into a locked building, or holding someone at gunpoint, taking stuff.
I’m not excusing it, but there’s some distinction to make, I think.
So what would you do? It’s yours. They’re stealing it. They’re not paying you for it. If you made more, they’d steal more. It’s not so much they like stealing, it’s that they like what you make. Will they pay if you make it easier and more convenient to pay for than to steal?
I don’t know about you, but I see an opportunity, a market. Now, I don’t think iTunes and whatever else is out there is necessarily the ideal solution, but I sure do like iTunes an awful lot. Even more than for music, I can get just about any TV show I want, without commercial interruptions, for $1.99. Get a whole season for about $15. Downloads in the background, automatically. I’m even thinking about getting an Apple TV box so that I can watch what I download on the big HD set in the TV room rather than at my desk. It begins to make me rethink the whole cable or satellite thing. Pay for what I want, and only what I want.
I’m pretty sure this is all going to work out OK and it’s going to be better.
One final observation is that I think what’s really got the big mega-producers’ panties in a bunch more than anything is an exploding amount of free content. I laugh every time I see an entertainment exec or industry expert interviewed and they always have to comment about how "most of it isn’t any good." Yea, well, feel free to argue with a million views of something not very good, but the underlying element, I think, is fear.
It’s really, really hard to compete with a free product that’s any good at all. Want to know what I’m talking about? Watch this. This one might even be better. There’s no copyright issues, the thing has been viewed worldwide at various sources an estimated 8 million times, and not a penny has changed hands. Yea, I’d be scared. And guess what? With that sort of broadcasting (hardware: the original barrier to entry) ability at the fingertips of virtually anyone, anywhere, the world just may be a changin’.