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The Government Accountability Office just released a study on piracy.  As you are aware, Big Media managed to get Congress to pass the DMCA, which has no safeguards against being abused and has been used mostly in YouTube wars and by politicians looking to get incriminating videos gone.  Fair Use and personal liberty have taken a backseat as the Content Mafia tries to force us to buy their crap.  They treat us like criminals with no evidence of wrongdoing (how long did it take for them to get rid of DRM for MP3's?)  Part of the reason I will not buy a Zune is because part of the money is a royalty to the Content Mafia -- the head of the RIAA said MP3 players were just "repositories of stolen music".  Buying blank media, part of that money is also paid to the Content Mafia for shows you may or may not keep that will cost them sales.  I have over 1,000 CD's.  They should be thanking me for my business, not lumping me with the channers.

The GAO report mentions that piracy is a blight and all that stuff.  However, it also points out that the figures and statistics supplied by the RIAA and MPAA are seriously flawed in their processes.  They are questioning the estimated costs, the estimated participation, and so on, and questions if the recommended measures are truly the best response.

Whoa!  The government is actually paying attention?!?  How'd that happen?!?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
You paid the same sort of "tax" when you bought cassettes and blank VHS tapes as well, I believe. This is nothing new.

I personally think the best reason to not buy a Zune is because Microsoft is involved...and iPod's are just inherently cooler. ;-)

And there are far too many studies that show that the RIAA and MPAA have their heads up their arses with their "statistics" about piracy.

The real problem for the record industry is two-fold:

1. They release crap and don't develop artists. It's all about the quick hit, quick buck. Stupid, stupid, rat creatures...don't they ever learn?

2. $18.99 for a new CD at a Brick & Mortar. Same disc from the Intertubes, $11.99. Even with S&H, it's a better deal. The only thing keeping most B&M record stores open these days is used CD sales...
Apr. 14th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: the "tax" on magnetic media: Ouch. I meant to mention that, but it slipped my mind in the middle of my rant. Cheesed me off then, too. ;-)

Problem 1, you see this everywhere. I don't agree much with Ralph Bakshi, but he is absolutely right in his observation that a lot of your entertainment companies are run by businessmen instead of artists. Kylie Minogue's "Fever" wasn't supposed to be released in America. It was only because of the buzz for her video for "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" that it came out (I bought the US version as a show of support. I had already imported it). Minogue knows how to put together an entertaining package, from the album to the videos to the live performances. But she's been swept back under the rug in favor of the latest pre-fab pop.

One of my favorite bands (I don't know if you've heard of them) is Hepcat. They do traditional ska. Their albums are on indie labels. They drive themselves to their gigs. They've been recording for over twenty years. They sound great. And they'll never get the success they deserve. Meanwhile, put a girl on a Disney Channel show and start giving her record contracts and releasing music that sounds pretty much the same, and she gets millions.

It's like I say with comic books -- people are willing to buy the stuff, but you have to make it something worth buying. But people aren't concerned with making good comics or good music, they are interested in making merchandise. Product. And then they wonder why people regard it as disposable or only worth getting if they don't have to pay for it. I gladly buy the new Dresden Files hard covers because I love the character and the stories and Jim Butcher delivers the goods. When I'm done, I feel my money was well spent. By way of contrast, I just thumbed through "Blackest Night" and "Secret Invasion/ Dark Reign/ Siege" in the stores and listened to others tell me what was happening. They were just a bunch of plot points to follow. Most of these people will read their books, then bag them and board them and never read them again. By way of contrast, I am constantly pulling out my Sam And Max comics or Howard The Duck or Rom The Space Knight to read them again. No one is making things people want to re-experience, and that's why things are going so wrong.

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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