All media is equal, or should be considering it’s becoming computer files like everything else. The Internet is basically a library and needs to be treated as such in my opinion. It’s one of the best places to share what we create.
Hey, why not tax the American people a little and pay the copyright holders, the actual creators, a fair wage from that tax, and cut out the stinking middle man that drives up costs and forces us to live in an archaic world of greed?! We should be able to download any movie, song, or book from this digital library. I’ve held this opinion since the damned nineties and I’m pretty amazed at how greed is suffering good work and limiting what the people can access.
“you expect me to pay more taxes? Boo fucking hoo, I want to pay a CEO millions to figure out how to charge me more, like with my health care!”
Come on, you’d rather not pay a little more tax for the benefit of affordable entertainment? I consume a lot of it and it’s rather pricey, but if you’re dumb like that I suppose you’ll stop reading by now and call me a socialist liberal pig. Enjoy your $.99 Family Guy rerun…
“who’s paying the librarians and computer people to run it?”
We already do or I wouldn’t be discussing the library. But, if you use the library you may have noticed how limited the people’s digital library is compared to the corporate version. At the rate we are going, Amazon and iTunes will be the library, and this is bad for the future.
“but the authors won’t make enough money!”
Bullshit! They will get about as much as publishers pay them now, if not more. There is more money to be made selling swag, toys, commercial use of works, physical copies for those idiots who think they need this shit on a bookshelf collecting dust as well. The copyright holders could supplement their tax royalty income with these things, and this keeps the junk industry driven by media alive. China jumps for joy! I’d imagine there would still be investors looking for a little return from these sales if it’s no longer worth the investment in creating the actual media so I doubt big movies will lose the investment capital needed to cover production.
“but what about those damned foreigners taking our stuff without paying ’cause we can’t tax them?”
So. Charge non-American companies and citizens a monthly fee for access. If the British libraries want access to American content charge them accordingly and let them use whatever they want. We pay for the BBC’s crap.
“but people will just steal shit!”
Let’s redefine steal, because it’s impossible to steal a file since the owner likely retains the original, but for argument sake. People already ‘steal’ in the current system and it is costing you. If the files are free, already paid for with tax revenue, would this not curb the need to steal? Even with the few taking content for free do you really believe it will cost everyone as much as the attorneys, law enforcement agencies and middle man corporations are costing now? Do you really believe going against the people by making crazy laws and stupid expensive technologies like DRM keeps people from stealing or reduces your cost? This crap drives up costs, keeps media from the poorer people, and puts money in the hands of companies that provide no real value in an Internet society.
“what about copyright?”
It will still exist. If an author dies his family collects the royalty for whatever period the law states. If there is no one to collect or the work is beyond the copyright period, the work becomes public domain. Sorry capitalistic cock sucker, *cough* Disney *cough*, no more free money for you. Come up with your own ideas and concepts…
“what if I wrote a song and anyone can play it? I’d lose money!”
Really? Ever heard of tribute bands? The fact is, having the ability to read the notes does not transfer the copyright, nor does it imply permission to perform the song to an audience. That mess wouldn’t likely change. The reality is that a concert tour generates tons of cash and the band would already be guaranteed their tax royalty on top of it.
Reality check: Did you know that if you play your purchased music CD at a block party with a certain amount of people that you could possibly be sued? Are you aware that if you project a football game on a large screen for your friends that you may very well be breaking the law? Anyway…
“what about the amount of stuff? Led Zeppelin has a lot of music and some others not so much. How does that work?”
That is a tough one. I suppose a system where popularity and productivity up the payment percentage would work. The more you give the more you get, and popularity helps tee-shirt sales as well. Do we really want to pay artists that suck and only produce one song that is temporarily popular? This will keep artists productive and it’s better than the corporate alternative of “you’d better make something or I’m taking your ass to court for breach of contract”.
Some side benefit perhaps.
You know all that crap out there, like the garbage lil’ Wayne makes money from for example? It’s really not very innovative, creative or valuable, plus he can’t even sing or play an instrument. Those content creators that simply suck will simply fade away along with the huge profit machine and their brain washing commercialism, because people will only download shit that’s good! With more choice you are able to make better decisions. In academia this is called ‘peer review’. It works. Maybe not as well as commercial brainwashing though…
If this does not happen say good bye to public domain, the library, and freedom. You must realize companies like Amazon will take their place and force everything to the cloud where it can be controlled. Your children will eventually have to buy everything you bought, and there children, etc. – if they can afford the fees to borrow it from the publisher and pusher.