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The fallacy of economic damage due to piracy (Rants, XS4ALL)

Recently the unthinkable happened. The company I helped create was forced by court order to filter content. Even though European, and now German courts have found that filtering content is a bad thing, a dutch court sided with BREIN (similar to RIAA/MPAA) and told us to block The Pirate Bay. Everyone with half a brain knows these kind of blocks are only temporary while technology routes around this censorship.

What these kinds of insane reactions to an unfixable problem show is that the music/movie industry does not know what moves the modern consumer. They’re trying to regulate the industry as if it was still comprised of people moving video tapes around. As a consumer I am perfectly willing to pay for content. Actually, I’d much rather pay for content than having to deal with finding it online and wondering if it’s been backdoored by scammers. But modern technology has shown me how content delivery COULD be, and I am now unwilling to go back to the dark ages that the content industry allows me.

What I want is to see TV, movies, music, games, when I want to see it, and how I want to see it. For many US people this sounds inconceivable, but over in Europe we often don’t get to see TV shows until years later. This is unacceptable to me, so I route around that censorship. This is not my choice, it is the choice of the content industry that still operates like a dinosaur. Give me a way to consume content how I want it, and I will pay for it. Anyways, other people have talked about this more eloquently and it’s not what I came here to say.

What irks me lately is that especially in the US the content industry is throwing around numbers that boggle the mind. The US economy is losing 58 billion a year due to piracy and that’s why the world (yes, this concerns the world) needs draconian laws like SOPA. This is not about the US economy at all. This is about the bottom line of big industry players that want another percentage in their profit margins. The US economy as a whole suffers very little, because when you download a song and don’t spend money on buying that song on CD or itunes, you have money left in your pocket to go see a movie (oh irony) or buy some coffee at starbucks. So what these big industry players are really mad about, is that you’re spending your money elsewhere. It has nothing to do with the US economy.

Content creators around the world, stop fighting us, but work with us to give us what we want instead of what you want. You’ll find most people are perfectly willing to pay for what they want.

2 Responses to “The fallacy of economic damage due to piracy”

  1. I too would gladly pay for music / tv / movies etc. However typically I am unable to register or pay due to my location. I was really hoping when amazon started doing on demand things that as they were already used to international selling they would be able to handle it.unfortunately being US based they can’t sell any content to users outside the USA.
    Itunes, there is a Cayman iStore now .. the ability to register as if in the Cayman Islands exists .. our Phone company cells iphones .. so things happened. However when you go to sign up for that account you can’t finalise the sign up as it won’t accept a Cayman bank card. So I am forced to register with a USA address (I use apples own) and then buy gift cards for credit .. which I am also charged 20% duty on when bought on island. It also restricts me from buying anything but apps.

    So due to this being a similar story for all online content which I can legally purchase I am forced to download illegally, or wait 2 – 6 weeks for delivery of physical disks and pay duty.
    I have no problem with the duty but the usually 6 weeks or more is an issue.
    I also VPN to the UK and USA to watch Hulu and BBC iPLayer etc so that I can watch my favourite TV shows when I want to. I do not pay for a TV license but I do pay for the VPN. The BBC is said to be finally rolling out international access to iplayer and I hope to be able to simply pay my money and have access to it. I am doubting it will be that simple and so am fully expecting to have to keep my VPN.
    So is island life.

    (ps local myth says no copyright laws here in Cayman but that’s rubbish, as we don’t have our own we revert to the UK’s which adheres to the European laws.

  2. cor says:

    Try living in the US Virgin Islands, which is theoretically US territory, but is treated like they’re Nigeria.

    But this isn’t just limited to island life. In Amsterdam I can’t watch my favorite US shows legally until months or years later. I just don’t accept that crap anymore. Either content providers join this century, or they can go ahead and die like the dinosaurs they are.