Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Taught a Generation to Steal

Listening to another great episode of TWiT (This Week in Tech), the point was made regarding the new "anti-piracy" bills in the U.S. Congress that they are just moves by the industries to grab rights and try to reassert control.

Information wants to be free, and fans of your institutions want to participate. I spent a lot of time defending and trying to close down leaks in our streaming rights through As a content creator, I do believe it's in my rights to ask for compensation -- especially since making and distributing content is FAR from free.

That's not to say I didn't sympathize with fans.

We have taught a generation to steal? Not sure. We taught them you can steal remotely. The same tools that allow The Man to propagate content gives The People the power to be there.

It is no different than when parents would call and ask us to lay down the phone next to the radio so they could hear their kids games back in the 1970s. It's just that today with SlingBox or UStream, fans can "repurpose" the game on TV and get it out to distant friends.

The fight is over the cost, and that was where the TWiT crowd was going -- because we overprice content, we drive the true fan to great lengths to save a money. Thus, are we better off making lots of dimes off easy to use and distribute methods (think iTunes) or holding out for the potential of bushels of dollars by restricting content into proprietary distribution tools (think your cable company).

This contest between revenue and fan is as old as outfield fences and hedgerows around playing fields. You want to watch? Buy a ticket.

I'm not being cold about that. It is reality. Electricity costs money. Insurance costs money. Facility upkeep costs money.

Does anyone really think you can see the BCS for free? That it's a right as a fan?

The good news is the internet shreds the barrier of distance and digital recording destroys the concept of time.

More to come tomorrow

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