Friday, May 04, 2012
Why Copyright Is Irrelevant
A judge finally recognized what any tech could have told him.
With this ruling, the ability to get the evidence necessary to defend copyright is obliterated. There is now essentially no way to defend the copyright of anything that can be stored on a computer.
There's no way to subpoena evidence, apart from an individual testifying to the presence of illegal material on a computer. Even then, the testimony would have to include the individual actually SEEING the perpetrator do the download. The simple presence of the file doesn't show who put it there. And, short of needing biometric ID to login to every computer in the world, it never will.
For all of you who create intellectual content (and that includes me), we need to get used to the facts: the model by which we make money off of intellectual content has got to be radically different than it was BC (Before Computers).
Doesn't matter if it is photos, movies, novels, articles... none of that matters.
If it can be digitized, then:
Can Take Anything.
At Any Time.
And there is no recourse.
I'm actually good with that - in my view, copyright was never any real protection anyhow.
But consumers need to understand what they are buying.
You are no longer buying the content you are downloading.
You are now buying the content that doesn't exist.
What does that mean? Well, consider Taylor Swift - a woman who makes tens of millions of dollars each year through her songs and videos. You can, if you wanted, go to Youtube and download every song she's ever sung. You can rip CDs, store them as cell phone ringtones - do anything you want and never pay her a dime.
So, if her fans never have to pay to get her work, how is it that she makes millions of dollars each year?
Simple. When they pay 99 cents for an iTunes mp3, Taylor Swift fans aren't paying her for the work they download. They are paying her for the work she has not yet created. They like what they heard, they download the song they've already listened to elsewhere, and they pay 99 cents for that song not because they necessarily want that song, but because they want the next song, the song she hasn't even written yet. The song that will be even better than this most excellent song.
They want her to continue to produce wonderful songs.
That's how she gets paid.
She gets paid for a product that doesn't yet exist.
For those of us who produce intellectual content, that's how all of us have EVER gotten paid. In the old days, when book publishers mattered, it was called an advance, and the publisher paid it. Today, it is called profits, and the fans pay it.
We aren't getting paid for the work we produced, but for the future work our fans hope we will produce, work that they believe will match or exceed the quality of this work they already have in their hand.
We don't need copyright.
We need fans who clearly understand what they are buying.
So, if you like what you read here, you can buy more of it here.
Posted by Steve Kellmeyer at 12:36 PM