That's where I disagree. It has not been doing a good or even decent job for several decades now. Ever since they first raised the protection times, first to 25, 50, now 70 years from author's death... how is that even remotely related to "protecting innovation" anymore? And now we're at a point where even public domain is not necessarily public domain - in the US, there are actual cases where the entertainment industry has managed to take away content from the public domain which previously was there, and place it under their own copyright. Just think about that for a while and let it sink in. The implications are scary indeed.Think of copyright as someone's idea for how to best optimize the values you're talking about, there. IMHO sharing itself isn't intrinsically good or the goal. Sharing is a strategy (which happens to usually work fairly well) meant to optimize the value of something else: the spread of knowledge and culture. IMHO that is actual the goal, and the Good Thing which I think we all want to happen (we just have different ideas about how to do it).
(Anglo-centric here; your specific culture may vary a little bit) Roughly around the 1700, people started thinking about the best way to get what we all want, and what they came up with was copyright. In US in 1789 the basic idea was expressed as
Whether it's ideal or not, it has been proven for hundreds of years to do a fairly decent job.
Yes, that is correct. But there can no longer be a return to the past. Internet was a pandora's box in a sense, and now that is open, we can never close it again - we'll have to learn how to deal with it. The copyright mafia has yet to come to terms with it - they're still struggling against the new market disruptors.This takes the idea of "when you share something with a friend, you can both enjoy it" and implements it as you telling your friend "I like X" and your friend goes and buys X, where its title is a search key within an efficient market. This way, you both get to enjoy it and you also create commercial incentive for someone to make more X. The idea is that your child can "hoard" the content by not sharing the content itself, but also "not hoard" it, by giving a reference to the product, where the reference is nearly as good as the actual content.
This was working great until the 1990s when some of the people who resell X decided that us buying it, wasn't enough for them. They wanted playback equipment licensing royalties too. So they defected from the arrangement, by rejecting some very important aspects of the solution that had been provided by copyright. Now when someone whose judgement you trust says "I like X," you may or may not be allowed to buy it (i.e. iTunes isn't on the web yet, and the one and only proprietary client that you're allowed to use, hasn't been ported to my computer). Or if you are allowed to buy it, you're not allowed to play it (e.g. it's both technically difficult, and also against the law to decrypt it so that you can get it onto your screen, save it to watch it when you want, etc) which is just as bad as not being for sale at all (maybe worse, if you think of it as a type of fraud). With video, the whole idea of "here's the search key for X, go use the efficient market to get it" has broken, since there isn't really a working market anymore.
It's obvious that the industry is in denial about the full effects and implications of the internet. This can be seen in the fact that they think they can restrict the sharing of content. They think they can somehow control the internet, and what I feel is really sad is how they think they can still enforce country borders in the virtual realm where borders have effectively ceased to matter. The internet is a global village, we all need to learn how to play nice and share our toys, but these old fossils think they can put some content up and say "sorry, you can't buy this because you live in country X". They're failing at serving the market.
I know what you mean. There are many videos and movies and other content I'd be more than willing to pay a reasonable price, if they'd just allow me to buy it in a format I can play with whatever equipment or OS I want, without DRM. Here we are, customers in line, asking "where can I throw this bag of money" and they're saying "sorry, we're not available in your region yet, if ever". Market fail!DRM makes the reference no longer be nearly-as-good as sharing the content, due to the lack of the market in which to go buy the video. Someone could recommend I watch the TV series "Game of Thrones" but it's not for sale at any price. I can't buy the files from HBO, or subscribe to their streaming service and have it work with MythTV. I can't get the content from them, and they don't have any way to receive the financial incentive. DRM has made the market fail, the very purpose of copyright subverted.
Well, yes and no. The legitimate market would have to be able to compete with piracy in all aspects (except price). People are willing to pay a reasonable price as long as you make it convenient, easy and efficient for them to do so. If buying the content legally were made easier than torrenting it, and the price was reasonable, and you'd be able to buy in as small increments as you wanted (one episode at a time, one song at a time) and pay in whatever way you want (bitcoin), very few people would bother torrenting even if it did save them some money, EVEN if it would be legal to do so.So a lot of people are choosing piracy at the thing which fixes the problem created by DRM. The various pirate channels have become the new incarnation of the efficient market, to fill the void that was vacated by Hollywood. But make no mistake: without the DRM, the "legitimate" market within the ideal of copyright, would almost certainly exist (eventually someones always steps forward to accept the money), and piracy would no longer be the best strategy for optimizing the value of culture-and-knowledge spreading.
Well the thing is, who wants CDs? Can you even buy CD players anymore? I don't think I've seen many CD players for sale recently. Buying CDs is a hassle, they're a very inefficient and volatile way of storing content. Know how many CDs can you fit on a single USB thumb drive, or even a single 32GiB micro-SD card? 46, uncompressed. With FLAC compression, that's about 77 - and with lossy compression, the amount becomes silly (a bit over thousand CDs with 64kbps compression). That much fits on a storage media that's smaller than your thumbnail.That is why, while I strongly advocate that everyone please pirate most video products (please, please stop paying them for DRM!), I advocate against the piracy of music. There's still an efficient market for music, un-DRMed CDs are still for sale, and the cost of them is relatively low. (Yes, it really is low: the $12 I paid for a Suicidal Tendencies CD twenty fives years ago, over all the hundreds of times I've played it, is just nothing. And since it's not DRMed, I can play the music whenever and whereever I want to. If it weren't for that, the number of plays over which to spread the initial $12 cost would be far smaller, and maybe $12 would have been too much. That's especially true when the number of times I can play it is ZERO, as is the case with a Blu-Ray disc.)
Of course you could just buy the CD and then download the file on your computer and throw the disc away, but why do we need to buy the CDs if we don't need them? Think of the environment for a while... that's just stupidly inefficient.
So no, I don't think CDs are an efficient market for music. We need the same content available online, with one-click buys. Preferably, we could get bitcoin wallets integrated with operating systems (some desktop environment should get cracking on this, hint hint KDE and GNOME) where you could just visit a website with music for sale, then pay them in bitcoins with one mouse click, enter some pin number or passphrase (for security... better yet, use a fingerprint scanner or usb key) and woosh, the money goes there, the music automatically starts streaming on your computer, you can listen it instantly with zero lag, but you'll also get a non-DRM copy for later listening. And no regional borders, that kind of thing is just silly in this day and age. Now That would be efficient, it would be convenient, and the market would be functional.
See the thing is, that "stop pirating" thing? It's very likely not going to happen. I think we're long past that point where it's possible to declare a truce like that (not least because people who pirate content are not a hivemind, every individual makes the choice to pirate or not him/her/itself). The main issue however is, that the trust towards hollywood and RIAA and MPAA and the rest is gone, they've spent too much time and effort trying to cripple the web and limit citizen rights with draconian legislation, censorship and oppression for us to ever trust them again. We need them gone. We don't need gatekeepers like them anymore. There maybe was a time when they were legitimate enablers, but not anymore. Movie and music creators can use the internet to sell their content to us directly. They can implement business models that do not care about sharing of content.Dee, I gather you're sort of compatible with me on video right now, but probably my opponent on music. All I can say is that I urge you to think about what course of action could result in your child and his friends getting the most; is directly sharing the entire content really the optimum, or have we perhaps been using something for the last few hundred years which works a little better, by making it easy for people to get things while also doing something about the "100 channels and nothing good on" problem? And please go on pirating video, as getting DRM sales down to zero is the best (IMHO) way I think we can persuade Hollywood to go back to the older, more proven model that everyone knows for sure, definitely works to the mutual gain of both publishers and consumers. But when that happens, when they re-open for business, we'll want to stop pirating.
In earlier posts I've made some arguments and posted some examples about how this could be achieved, I've made my case how the market could function more efficiently if free sharing for noncommercial purposes was allowed - you might want to scroll back the thread a couple of pages and read my posts, because I really don't care to type it all again...