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People understand copyrights, they just don’t like being screwed

Dear Reader,

No, this is not a SOPA rant, but it is related.

Recently, I attended a round table discussion on SOPA hosted by my Congressman, Rep. Jim Cooper. While the discussion was heated at time, I felt that overall it was a good meeting. I didn’t actually expect anything to get resolved, and I wasn’t disappointing. I did however, get to meet some new people here in Nashville that I hope will become friends.

One person I met, I will not say who, had something very interesting to say as we were shaking hands at the end. They said:

The problem is, we have a generation that doesn’t understand right from wrong.

I disagreed and said so by quoting my friend Jacques Woodcock from a previous event where he sagely said:

It’s not that people don’t understand that copying music is wrong, it’s that they don’t care. They don’t respect your copyrights.

(ok, I’m paraphrasing Jacques quote since I’m working from memory on it. Jacques, feel free to correct m if I got it wrong.)

It’s not that people are looking to steal stuff. If the material is made easily available and reasonably priced most people will buy it instead of trying to download it from somewhere. Most people want to do the right thing, but when they can’t, they are willing to violate the rights of a copyright holder, especially when they feel they are being treated unfairly.

Here is a specific case to prove my point. in 1995, Disney released “The Goofy Movie”. It was meh but my kids loved it. In addition to buying a VHS copy when they were available, we bought the CD sound track…which was equally meh. There was however, 1 song on the sound track I-2-I that was catchy. I really liked it, it got my toes to tapping. (Seriously, if you know me, don’t act surprised. I like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez too. My kids are threatening to disown me.) :)

Fast forward 10+ years, the CD has long been lost. I don’t want to buy it again, just to get that one song so I do what everyone does, I go out to iTunes (and also Amazon) to find the song. Guess what, you can buy most the other songs individually for $.99 but I-2-I (mislabeled “121”) can’t be bought individually. So while all the other songs are reasonably prices, this one is effectively $10.

I don’t mind respecting copyrights but I seriously dislike being ripped off.

NOTE: I am not admitting to finding an alternate source for a song I have already paid for and legally own a license to, I’m just using this as an example.

1/2 of the equation for killing most copyright violations out there is reasonably priced. $10 for 1 song is not reasonably priced. Attention big media, I am happy to honor your rights as long as you don’t abuse me. You don’t seem to have learned that lesson yet. People like Louis CK have proven that if you get it right, you’ll have to rent a truck just to carry all your money to the bank. (You guys in big media have got to seriously hate him for poking large holes in all of your arguments!) :)

Keep getting it wrong and I’ll remind you of this post in a year cuz you’ll still be bitchin’ about how copyright violations are gonna kill you. They aren’t killing you, your own stupidity is.

Until next time,
I <3 |<