This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Copying stuff and the immediate world of me

One of the things that puzzles me is the persistent belief that people are entitled for free to things they don't want to pay for. If you're not willing, or able, to pay for something, you don't need it. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to disregard all the things one needs to actually live, and concentrate only on everything else.

, , , : it's all up for grabs, but the question is why? This, I believe, is the result of the belief that permeates modern . Somehow, people have the idea that they're entitled to something merely because they want it. Put a hot coffee on your lap while in the car, spill it on your crotch and sue. Stick a screwdriver in your eye and sue. Put a kid in the back of a truck, have him fly out on a sudden stop and sue. Society has gotten so warped we don't even tell these people to screw off and pay better attention to their own safety, we listen to their whining as if it is meaningful to us.

Why are you entitled to a free copy of just to edit your digital photos? Every modern digital camera comes with (which is a subset of Photoshop), which is quite usable but not as powerful as Photoshop, and they keep updating it, too, making those updates available even to those get P/E for free.

Why are you entitled to a free copy of just to edit your home movies? Every modern digital camcorder comes with some kind of video edit suite, which in most cases is quite usable but not as powerful.

I think people misunderstand what the phrase “The best things in life are free” means. Personally, I don't think it's talking about your photoediting software.

The same holds true for games. People go ga-ga over games they download and will proclaim to the world how wonderful think those games are. But in so many cases they don't want to pay for them. Why not? Apart from “I just don't want to!”, no one's ever given me a satisfactory explanation. If you don't want to pay for it, you don't really need it. You may want it, but that's not the same thing.

Music and movies are another example. Yes, the studios are heavy-handed it their enforcement of anti-piracy laws. Yes, until the VCR came along the only source of revenue movie studios had was when the movies played in the theatres. But if you love the movie or the CD so much that you talk about it all the time, shouldn't you support the producers(note: this doesn't mean the studio, this means everyone involved in producing it) by paying for it?

I've also heard the argument that “Those people make enough money, my copying that CD won't matter to them”. But the amount of money they already make isn't the issue. In fact, this entire post isn't about those producers making less money. It's about the consumers, blithely convinced that just taking something that has no physical form is OK.

This is why I think the surcharge that Canadian retailers add to blank CD and DVD media is absurd. I produce my own content for my own pleasure, I don't download movies or music or pirated software. Why should I be forced to pay that extra fee? And besides which, not everyone who downloads stuff burns them to disk. This is also the reason I found all those prequels they used to run in theaters so annoying. You know the ones where some guy goes on and talks about how much work he put into the movie and how it's wrong to copy them. You've got the wrong audience, dude: these people sitting with me in the theater paid to see this movie.

If you want to steal product, at least do us all a favour and stop rationalizing and justifying your actions. Call it for what it is.

I suppose I should mention that No, I don't work for any media company, and No, I'm not involved in producing fee-based content for public consumption, and Yes, I am a computer programmer.


At Wed Jun 22, 05:30:00 PM ADT, Anonymous Realmspace said...

Copying costs everybody .... eventually.

At Wed Jun 22, 08:32:00 PM ADT, Blogger Miranda said...

I completely agree. I bought a cd and it came with software that I would have had to download onto a pc in order to just play the cd. I have no intention of copying it but now I can't even play it at work because I'm not allowed to download software onto the work pc. The software was supposed to keep track of how many copies you make or something. I was very disappointed.


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