Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Go to jail like a Pirate day

Originally published at Chamber. . You can comment here or there.

Pirate Bay pirates arrested.

As a creator and developer of entertainment content, I can’t really take the side of those who pirate software and media.

But you know what, I truly can’t fault them either.

We’re becoming an information-based society. And as we do, slowly and inevitably, the nature of media as an actual, physical object, like a CD or DVD, is going to transmute, evolve, and perhaps eventually pass away altogether unless we give people a reason to want such physical objects.

The idea that any given download is fiscally equivalent to the price of that music/game/movie/etc. at retail, is simply false. There are many, many people in the world that like downloading things, but would never in a million years have paid money for anything they’ve downloaded. That’s not a lost sale. Mechanically speaking, it’s the duplication of a file — the transmission of a meme, idea, or entertainment. The actual market value of such a thing is debatable, but I have a hunch that trying to enforce a $ transaction on a duplicatable file does not really enhance the value of that thing to anyone, and may have the opposite effect, of diminishing its’ recognizability, its’ presence and transmission speed in the medium of pop culture. When dealing with physical objects, rarity is a value magnifier. But when dealing with the intangible… the case isn’t so clear cut. Memes (not unlike viruses) rely on their transmission speed to extend their lifespan.

When you take something that doesn’t belong to you, it IS theft. But in a capitalist consumer-oriented society, I am psychologically encouraged at every turn to maximize the number of things I can get, while minimizing the number of things I am forced to give up. It is disingenuous to take the moral high ground when your primary interest is multiplication of lucre.

When I buy something that is new or unfamiliar to me, the risk is distributed solely to me — if I don’t like it, I’m hosed. Rental mitigates this risk to some degree, but not all of the things I’d like to experience are available through any retail outlet. Torrents present me with avenues for accessing data and information on long-dead formats, or that have not been released in my country, or that I simply haven’t heard of before but am curious about. And when in my journeys through the ether I stumble across things that I like, then I will praise them, talk them up to my friends, go out and purchase the physical media to support the creators. I’ll look for things of theirs that I haven’t ever downloaded, and buy those. I’ll go to their shows, investigate their art, watch for their new releases. I’m not claiming to be doing them any real favors — but they would never have had my support, if I hadn’t been able to download their material freely.

In the pirating game, you rolls the dice, you takes your chances. But I’m not hoping to see those guys do any serious time. For me to believe that, I’d have to believe less in the open exchange of ideas and information, and more in the idea that everything can and should be commodified. And I just don’t. Even when it comes out of my own pocket.

Some things should always be available for a song.

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That's pretty much my opinion as well, which is why I enjoy communities like scans_daily and audiography so much -- it's an encouragement to spread the word about things that might not recieve too much attention otherwise or get someone to actually put money towards a piece of entertainment. Since I can't really create yet, collecting the creations of others is all I have.

And man, I have a lot.

fuseji's will was stillborn.

It's not an issue that is real clear cut to me. But I keep thinking -- these things are luxuries. They're not like food or shelter or medicine. I do believe they are needed, but in a way that's not immediately tangible. And I figure, if you see yourself as a salesperson, then I have very little sympathy for you, but go ahead and copy protect your shit -- once it gets to be an effort to take something, people's interest in taking it dwindles. If on the other hand you see yourself as an ARTIST... then you want everyone to experience what you've got to offer, don't you?

Blah yammer blah rant blah. Speaking of sharing, thanks for the heads-up on Fight Quest. I caught a snippet of it once and was like, "Who are these yankee douchebags?", but your post let me know that there was more substance (or at least, more entertainment value) to it than I thought.

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