Filesharing is a hot potatoe these days, and while I am
Pro in some situations, I can take a different standpoint in
others. For instance, I am for filesharing software for personal,
non-profit purposes. I think I covered that in another
post somewhere, but, for creation thousands of copies
of something and SELL it? No. THAT is theft, because
then you have stolen a sale that the recorded artist
would have made.
However, you cant calculate your losses using the
formula “X*Y=Z” where X is the amount of downloads, Y is the price
and Z is the grand total of the two. Because frankly, many of the
downloads that are being made would never ever have turned into
sales in the first place.
Now, some will argue that since they have downloaded it,
they would have purchased it. I beg to disagree, let me explain
If I download the song, it is most likely because I have heard it somewhere
and I want to hear it again, So, I download it. Why didn’t I buy it? Well,
I cant buy just 1 song in the store, can I? And most likely, the song that
I want, is probably only found on some obscure Various Artists album
wich contains 12 or more songs extra, that I have no interrest in what
so ever. On top of that, I have to pay for all those extra songs, even
though they might make me sick and cause me to jump off my balcony.
Today, people are more selective, because people KNOW that there are
alternatives to what is being offered in neatly printed plastic discs,
and to be honest, the Internet is a large part of that awareness, but
would that awareness be there without the record companies themselves?
The record companies are pushing out a never ending stream of one hit
wonders and the pace really is very fast, there are too much coming
out that are pure crap to be honest, and of course, most of the media
is jumping on the hype train and we, as regular consumers doesn’t really
have any chance to keep up, for a multitude of reasons, one being the
financial aspect of it, and another being that we simply dont have the
time to go to a record store every time theres a new fad. There are
a few artist that I gladly BUY. You heard me. Buy. And well, here goes
but, keep in mind that my tastes in music is so much more.
In my CD rack right now, there is a couple of Ozzy discs, 2 Dio albums,
4 Alice Cooper albums and a few AC/DC records. Why? Well, frankly
I know that even though I may not like ALL the songs on the albums
there are definetly more then 3 that I will like, so, it is worth the
effort to go to the store, and even though I hate the price, I feel
those artists deserve my money.
The first and foremost, is the human curiousity. We, as human beings are
interrested in new things. Always. We don’t always know what this new
thing does, but we still want to take a little peek and see if it can be of any
use for us. I know there are shareware and trialware for pretty much
everything that is out there, well, usually they have a lot of features that
are locked, and hence can’t be viewed until we see the whole package.
Second, the price tags. Lets face it. Open source alternatives are good,
but usually they just mimic other, commercial software. Case in point:
Microsoft Office > Open Office.org and Star Office. Adobe Photoshop >
The GIMP. The list can grow endlessly. Now, The GIMP is free to download
and you can do ALMOST the same things as in photoshop. Theres that
word again… ALMOST. Seeing as almost is a word that we dont like, well…
Anyhow, Adobe Photoshop, for those that dont know, is pretty expensive
even in its standalone, the Creative Suite, is a lot more expensive. The stand-alone
costs a whopping 699 dollars. Not something that the regular people can
spend to edit their photos, create graphics for their own personal webpage
and whatnot. The Creative Suite makes you spend 1,399 dollars, and that
is for the standard edition. Now, before you do any conclusions, I want
you to know that the reason for using Adobe Photoshop is becuase
everyone knows what it is, so everyone has some sort of basis to see what
I am gaining at. When it comes to the music and movies, well, here’s an
interresting comparison. A CD, with music, takes X amount of music
to produce. You need the studio, the logistics, promotion etc etc etc,
and that is not free. So, the CD will land at around 200 SEK, but a
movie, with its special effects is a lot more expensive to create, you
need more equipment, more people involved etc. So the price will
land at around 200 SEK ….. wait a minute? Somewhere theres
something not right. I am guessing either the movie industry is
charging waaaaay too little, but I doubt that, or the movie industry
are charging waaaaay too much, wich in my world is a lot more plausible.
Also, since logicistics and distribution costs, why isnt digital downloads
that much cheaper? They have the same pricetag as the physical discs.
Just a thought.
Third reason, is informationflow. The internet is filled with information and
we suck it up like dry sand sucks up liquids, all well and good, but also that
wealth of information feeds our curiousity to new levels. What is this thing
that everyone is talking about, who is that artist that people say is up and
coming? Well, we can A: Go to a store, or an online store, pay money to
see if we actually LIKE that artist and realise either 1: Yep, 200 SEK well spent
or 2: Nope, someone is overhyping this and I just wasted 200 SEK.
Those 200 SEK really is a lot of money just to satisfy our need to follow
up on information, feed the curiousity and keep up with what the rest
of the world thinks, and make our own opinion.
The fourth reason is Time.
Stress, preassure, deadlines. We know those words and well, if you dont
then its good on you, but the rest of us surely do. Let’s say person X just got
home from work. He sit’s himself down in front of the TV and flips the channels
around and voila, MTV, VH1 or whatever other music channel you desire
plays a song that he actually starts to listen to. He likes the song and wants
to do some research. So, Wikipedia it is. Turns out this artist has released
X number of albums, and this man never even knew the artist existed
(how’s that for promotion costs) So, this man who has worked all day
and wants to relax with some music has a few options. A: Go down
to a record store and risk buying albums that really isnt good.
B: go online, purchase the songs for the exact same amount, but now
digital, now branded with DRM, or C:
Find them on any torrent site available, wich means he only has to
wait a few minutes til can listen to an entire album (that is, if the
artist is popular enough to have people sharing it.)
So, downloading for the internet is pretty much effortless and free.
We know that. Free is good. But when it comes to music, there is
actually an alternative to purchasing it, if you want it NOW, instead
of lets say, the weekend. Spotify is more then just a buzzword.
It has saved my musical life to be honest, but here, the recording
industry is biting their own tail a little.
Metallica. Good Musicians, BAD tacticians, or pherhaps their label
needs to think a little further then their nose, but you can hardly
find any of their songs on spotify.
Now, spotify is a pay OR an ad service. Wich means that the artist
WILL get paid, yet record companies dont want to share their
catalogues and actually REMOVES things from there based on
wich country it is. Hows that for smart business?
In the end, theres a chasm really. A deep, wide chasm filled with financial
calculations and on one side, we find the companies, on the other, we find
the people who fileshare, and the funny thing is, that most of the times
when the people on the other side of the companies tries to build a bridge
over to the companies, the corporations either throws the bridge down,
or, places so many tollbooths on the bridge that for a regular user there
just isn’t any good way of navigating, wich means the bridge collapses on
Anyhoo, I would really like input on this, because I find this fascinating
not only from my own standpoint, but from every angle.