I just read a story about the MPAA filing a lawsuit against major torrent sites for… well… being major torrent sites. I really don’t have a problem with them protecting what is theirs. As a person who sometimes gets software and media from these nefarious sources I know that it’s just a matter of time before they get shut down and we have to move on to something else. You know why? Because this has all happened before!
During my freshman year at Mason Napster was the big thing, it was the first time I had a high-speed connection too. I could download music faster than I could listen to it. It was easy. That’s what the MPAA and RIAA are missing in this. They think that the way to stop you from downloading illegally is to stop the torrent sites. which is a flawed stance. I’ll tell you why.
It’s not like I’m breaking new ground here, but I just think they’re being stupid about this. First of all think of the flow of digital media to our homes as a river or canal. The “hackers” have made this big canal from the Media Reservoir created by the music and movie industry. They saw that the people wanted access to it and said we’re not waiting for the industries to get off their asses and do something about it. So if the MPAA stops the “hacker canal” another group will just say “The people want it and we will have it”. So what they need to do is focus less on stopping the “hackers” and more on building their own canal.
The analogy goes further because information, like water will always flow down the easiest route. Every time the movie and music companies make a canal the put these little dams and lockes in it (DRM) so that only certain kinds of boats (MP3 players) can go through it. Thus making it hard to use, so you look back at that “hacker canal” and think well I’m just going to keep using that, because it’s easier. The consumer will always use the most familiar and easy medium. Itunes is a step in the right direction, it’s easy to use, and relatively cheap. Why do you think that they just passed a Billion downloads?
What the companies need to do is stop focusing on making as much money on physical cds as they do on digital files. I download tons of media that I would never buy in physical form. I get it because I can, because it’s there and I might someday want to use it. If I could buy a whole CD of NEW music for like 3-4 dollars then I might think of doing that. I went on a buying spree with used DVDs from Amazon for just that reason, they were cheap and it was easy.
So my message is that of “Field of Dreams”. If you build it, they will come!