Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's amazing the amount of coverage the RIAA is getting nowadays. I'm not particularly surprised that almost all of it is negative. The RIAA has made a reputation of making itself obnoxious. I tend to agree with these guys.

Now I'm not saying piracy is right; Legally it's not. However, just because it's legal doesn't mean it's ethically right. Just read more about it by checking the links with regards to the RIAA on the right. While they may seem to be doing the 'right' thing, it definitely doesn't help to threaten consumers to get their way.

I believe they ought to learn a lesson or two from the Anime community. Sure, sites like Narutofan.com still exist, but Viz (the license holder) doesn't seem to have a problem with them. I remember reading once that Viz monitors the online Anime community to make corporate decisions simply because working in tandem with the fans leads to increased revenue. Viz does not press charges and claim that millions are lost because people are downloading Anime. In fact, an upper executive once conceded that they do NOT take action because all these "pirates" do is generate publicity and gain the interest of millions of fans around the world. This in turn increases the revenue generated through the sales of the DVDs, Soundtracks, Models, Comic books and the like. Perhaps the RIAA and MPAA could learn a thing or two from them.

I watched part of a documentary on piracy in Canada, and I noticed that the head of CRIA (The Canadian Recording Industry Association - Canadian version of the RIAA) mentioned that music 'sharing' is not sharing at all since "you don't lose anything by this type of 'sharing'". I'd probably agree, and put to him that since you don't lose anything, then it can't be "stealing". If there was a way I could produce a duplicate of anything I touched, and I went over to your house and touched your Ferrari thus making a duplicate of it, would you come yelling at me for 'stealing' it? I doubt so.

The ethics of intellectual property isn't a simple matter. True, people need to get paid for all the hard work they put in. Unfortunately, treating your consumers as criminals and using threats isn't the right approach either. Neither is forcing consumers to pay for what they've already paid for again and again by disallowing them to use the products they buy in the way they like.

I personally still feel that if there's something which I really like or enjoy, I'd go out and buy the original. Why not? At least I don't have to worry about it getting lost when I reformat my PC, or that the file doesn't become corrupted in time. Let's face it, the quality of even MP3s aren't perfect, and I'd pick owning a CD to just an MP3 any day. The last two CDs I bought I bought because I liked the songs in them, and I won't be ashamed to say I ripped it to my PC so I won't have to use my CD to listen to them. Also, unlike the USA, the price of music, movies and software are so high here that it's not always affordable. Maybe they ought to lower the price of original stuff in Asian countries if they want people to even CONSIDER buying them. After all, if the price difference between an original and a pirated copy is 95 bucks, how can they expect people to NOT buy them?

These are just some of my thoughts. I still think the RIAA are going about this the wrong way, but they can do what they want... After all, the worst that could happen was that NOBODY ever buys ANYTHING from them... EVER...

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Posted by Gerald at 3/06/2007 05:49:00 PM