Good article covering volatile topics: online music, CD-burning and DRM (digital rights management). It discusses how copying and distributing music is often justified under the guise of personal liberties and/or “screwing the suits” — when at the end of day, it is in fact authors, filmmakers and musicians being undermined by the devaluation of their creative works.
If we suddenly had a way to make perfect copies of objects as big as, say, cars, I imagine that thousands of shiny red Mustang convertible clones would instantly appear on the road. Most of us would find that wrong. So what makes copying and sharing music right? The fact that you can’t see it or touch it? That’s a thin argument at best.
DRM opponents say they just want to be able to make backup copies of content they buy, and I’m sure this is true in many cases. But it’s a blatant lie in many others. People copy entire CDs and share them with friends who share them with others and so on. Those who stand up for the right to copy freely sound incredibly Pollyannaish to me. Don’t they realize that just behind them stand the pirates, snickering?
The less a company thinks it can make from one of its works, the less it will pay for the initial work. Entire industries can and will be brought down this way. Those who think that music file sharing is not killing the music industry are kidding themselves. Big music companies are certainly scared. Yes, they made the mistake of not finding a way to work with Napster and Kazaa from the get go. But the ubiquity of content copying these services enable doesn’t make it right or even acceptable.
Coincidentally, this week Apple launched their new iTunes Music Store — this from the same company which launched iPod with the slogan: “Rip. Mix. Burn.”