- Who are the Real Pirates?, written by Shelly Palmer for MediaPost (Needs free registration)
- My previous post on Singapore's Anti-CD-Ripping policy, which has some relevance to the issue
For those of you who can't be bothered to/are wary of registering for yet another website you may not have heard about, here's a quick summary of the article:
Palmer basically restates and consolidates the age-old gripes of consumers regarding the content industry's pricing and marketing of its content, by questioning the validity of consumers having to pay for what is essentially the same content multiple times: once off iTunes, once for a ringtone, once for a ringback tone, once for the music video, once for a still-image of the artist for use as a wallpaper, the list goes on.
How many times can you sell the same master file? There doesn't seem to be any limit. You just have to keep the walls in the walled gardens up and keep the formats incompatible.
How many times will you buy the same master file? That question is being answered every day on P2P networks, via email and podcasts. Obviously, some consumers are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to bother converting their own files to be used in all of their devices. But there are far more consumers who would rather not pay for the same thing over and over again.
Firstly, I'm not going to go over the Why do I have to pay again? issue anymore. Read my previous post.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: with the current pricing model the content providers have come up with, it is now your responsiblity (and mine), as the consumer, to choose.
If you want the music for listening on your iPod (or other assorted portable device), then get that; if you want the music on CD for playback on your home/car stereo, get that; if you want the music video so you can check out [insert latest pop sensation]'s cool new dance moves, get that; if you want the music as a ringtone for your mobile, get that; and if you want the artist's ugly mug on your mobile as a wallpaper (for whoever knows what reason), you can get that too.
But for goodness' sake stop complaining that you have to pay for every single one of them. Because, you know what?
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET EVERY SINGLE FORMAT OF THE SONG IN EXISTENCE
We complained that records were too expensive and that only a few songs on each one was actually any good and why can't we get them separately? Well, now we can. The music industry has made it available to use via online content stores. And still we're complaining.
I'm sick to death of all the whiny babies who keep crying that they have to pay for the stuff they want. Learn to choose, for heaven's sake. Instead of succumbing to the knee-jerk mentality of going out and getting every single format of the latest "big hit" that's available out there (and then complaining about it), decide what you really want first.
Is that really so hard?
Is being responsible for how you spend your own (or your parents', in some cases) money really that difficult?
A wise man once wrote: Choose, and act.
Notice that choosing comes before acting, not the other way around. So stop being childish, and start being the responsible consumers you're meant to be. And if you can't even manage that, at least have the decency to stop blaming others for your inability to choose.
As a side note, there are, naturally, other ways of getting content, without having to pay a dime for it, and you are, of course, free to pursue these alternative methods. Just pleasepleaseplease remember that sharing of copyright files is illegal, so when you get caught, for goodness' sake don't act so damned surprised, and above all, please don't complain again.
It is illegal. If you get caught, you're fucked. I really can't express it more clearly than that.