I realize I might be a little early on the New Year resolution part; but hey better to start planning now than to let it slide don’t you think. After all, if this past election in the U.S. has shown us anything it is that the people; if they believe in something strong enough, can make a change and if there is one area that is in need of a big change it is this. For too long we have done nothing more than sit back and let these trade organizations tell us what we can do with the things we buy.
They force things like draconian digital rights management on entertainment and software producers because they don’t want to lose a single penny. Of course it isn’t just the trade organizations like the RIAA, MPAA or their software counterparts. It is also the corporations producing the mass quantity; much of which is pure dribble to begin with, that issue the marching orders or end up paying for the lawyers suing people into the poor house.
Why is it that the whole concept of the first sale doctine goes out the window the moment we move to digital goods. Just because you spend your hard earned money to buy something online in a digital format shouldn’t mean that it isn’t yours. That however is just what all these entertainment and software companies are saying. You can go to a bookstore, record store or gaming shop and plop down your money and that tangible item is yours. You could go the very next day and trade it in on something else and the store can sell it as used goods. You can sell it to your best buddy and no-one can tell you any different. Why – because you owned it – period.
In Canada when we go to buy any black media to copy onto (cassette tape, video tape, cd, dvd) there is a tax built into the price; otherwise known as The Private Copying Tax, that lets us make as many copies of something we want for our own private use. This has pissed off the folks like the RIAA and MPAA because it makes it next to impossible to enforce their perverse version of copyright law through our government. This is whyorganizations like the RIAA and the MPAA have been trying very hard to influence our Canadian government to change the laws – copyright laws that are in fact fairer to the content producers that anything the U.S. has.
It’s bad enough that organizations like this have gained the control they have in the US but this misappropriation of rights is now spreading beyond the U.S. borders and I’m sorry but it’s got to stop. As long as I am not breaking the law buy trying to profit from selling copies of things under sane copyright laws then why am I; and you being, treated like criminals. Why do we let this bullshit continue?
I’m an honest person as well I am sure that you are. Sure we’ve all probably downloaded something we shouldn’t have at some point in our lives but to continue to let these bastards extert the kind of power they have over our lives is just plain insane. Especially when you consider that we have the power to change this. A power so incredibly displayed by the Obama campaign – the power of the people. Not the power brokers, not the lobbiests but the power of the people to say enough is enough. They need to be told that we are not criminals and that both the entertainment corporations along with their trade organizations have no right to treat us as such.
The fact is that once we pay our money for a product; physical or digital, it is ours plain and simple. However until we tell these soulless greedy pricks to back off we get what we deserve. They aren’t going to stop doing everything they can to maximize every red cents they can regardless of our rights as consumers – as people. We are to blame for the situation we are in now and only we can change it. The companies won’t, the politicians won’t – we have to. But we’re too busy running to iTunes or other online entertainment content stores to get the latest and greatest even if we do whine and moan about things like DRM.
How do we change this? I don’t know because I don’t think this is important to enough people that any real concentrated movement to effect any change. Don’t bother crowing about Web 2.0 and social media and how it is changing things because right now those ideals don’t mean squat to the corporations and trade organizations. Just think though for a second if for even 6 months is not a thing was bought from iTunes, not a single game was downloaded or not a single pirated version made the rounds. How much of a change do you think could happen when all these companies that need our money in order to keep running suddenly are faced with this kind of action.
It could be done but honestly I doubt it will ever happen no matter what the power of the people showed during the election. I could be wrong but I don’t think so – what do you think?