So, heres a story about the Pirate Bay guys getting pinged for providing Pirate Bay, which is a site that provides bit torrent, which is a peer to peer protocol that lets people download files from other people all around the world.
So they got done for copyright infringement. Does anyone else see the massive irony here? Technology has opened up these markets like never before, records and cassettes, cds, for music, and VHS and DVDs for movies. The long tail and all that. This technology allowed both musicians, actors, movie producers, and … the recording and production companies to make more money from more people than ever before. If you think about it in the movie case, before the advent of the video player, the only way people watched movies was at the theatre or on television. So movies had a really short shelf life. As far as I remember, that technology took off in the late 80s, so this market, of movies being purchased and watched by consumers has only existed for 20 years. Before that, the movie industry was profitable and popular. Before records, there were musicians who performed.
So the industry is complaining that the extension of a technology that made them more money than ever, is infringing on copyright. They are in fact having their ‘rights’ infringed, their right to make as much money as humanly possible from their artists. A ‘right’ that didnt exist 20 years ago (or 80+ years ago for records). A right that was provided by the very technology that they are trying to prevent people using in clever ways. It seems the industry want to have their cake (the technology that allows them to distribute further and cheaper than ever before) and eat it (no one else is allowed to use this technology).
This situation is not efficient. Information is free, so there need to be different methods of rewarding artists. Perhaps artists should only be rewarded for live performance? Maybe movies should only make money from cinemas? In any case, I think the record labels and distributors are a problem in themselves, and the sooner the internet make them obsolete, the better.