The Copyright Failure

And another of my long list of copyright posts. Can’t let it rest for some reason.

Copyright failed. As Larry Lessig said in his TED talk: Every view in the digital age is a copy. Watch a DVD and the computer/box/whatever is going to make 5 to 100 (temporary) digital copies of the movie before it is displayed on the screen: In the laser pickup, in the buffer chips that connect the laser to the system, in memory to decode the video stream, in various post processing filters, in the buffer chips that transfer the signal to the TV set, and several copies in the TV set to further improve the picture.

Let me drive this home: In this day and age, you have to break the law to watch movies and listen to music because the law says: You must not make any copies. Not even one.

The message: Standard usage of movies and music (watching, listening) is illegal under today’s copyright law. Which means we’re all serial offenders.

Or the other way around: We’re breaking the law so often, that we have concluded it’s optional. An important lesson that we inherit to our kids.

Maybe we can attack this the other way around: Why is the content industry failing? Because they sell a product in a way nobody wants.

I love to watch movies, read books and listen to music. I just don’t want to too much pay for something that I can get in better quality, faster and for free. Why do I have to wait six months to see US TV series? Why do I have to watch commercials? Why do I have to buy the album when I want a single track? Why do I have to buy the music at all when I just want to listen to it? Why do I have to watch TV at certain times?

Because no one is selling me the service I want. It’s not impossible. The “pirates” have made all this possible and for free, too. It’s just that the content industry has strangled itself too many contracts.

How is their mess our fault?

You want our money? Change.

Not convinced? Watch this: Rob Reid: The $8 billion iPod

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