Comments: Arrr, there be pirates

I find it interesting to compare DVDs with cds - the prices are roughly the same, but with the DVD, you get 100 times more content. DVDs are pirated just like cds, but on a much lower level - partially due to bandwidth issues (and the codecs they are formated in can be problematic). But I would never download a movie I really liked, while I would download a song. Because I won't pay $18 to get a song when I may not like the album, while I will pay $18 to get a copy of Blazing Saddles, or Undercover Blues (a classic), because, not only do I like the movie, I know I'll enjoy the commentary, bloopers and trailers, as well as anything else they may toss in.

One idea that EFF has come up with, and I think it is the way mp3s will play out, is that if you want to download, or upload music, you pay $5 a month into a fund. The money is collected either by your ISP, or you get a serial number that plugs into your Napster-like program (for reasons that will become clear - it can't be p2p).

Then, you can share music all you want, as long as you keep paying your $5 a month. Then, according to which songs are downloaded the most, the artist and record companies are paid some partion of the fund.

It would be great if the standard record contract wouldn't cover this, so artists could join on their own, and cut the music companies out of the mix entirely. Not because I want them out of business, but because once a few major artists sign up, the record companies will have to participate to avoid gettting cut out entirely.

Either way, the record companies are in the buggie whip business, and they have to adapt or perish. It wouldn't surprise me if they litigated themselves out of business.

Posted by Tor at March 2, 2004 09:55 AM

Interesting article on how the music and film industries were founded by piracy:

Posted by tor at March 4, 2004 10:47 AM