A Nation of Whiners

On both sides of the piracy/file sharing debate, I hear a whole lot of whining. The pirates are whining about stifling creativity, greed and the corporate conglomerates, and the MPAA, music labels and their signed artists, are whining about lost revenues, theft and fairness. Each side has valid points to back up their arguments but who’s right?

The MPAA admits in Steal This Film II that piracy cannot be stopped. So what are they accomplishing then with their sporadic lawsuits against average web users? It is like trying to catch Niagra Falls in a thimble. Their time and money might be better spent trying to come up with better strategies for dealing with the new ways people access and listen to music. They should capitalize on the speed and efficiency with which most people can access music instead of trying to combat the inevitable file sharing. You hear a song you like on the radio? You can download it straight to your phone instantly. Amazing! With their thimbleful of lawsuits trying to counter the Niagra Falls of P2P users, the music industry are just making enemies of their customers. Last time I checked, that wasn’t a successful or viable business model (though maybe it IS viable as I hate my cable and internet provider yet am forced to use them due to lack of other competitors in my area).

On the other hand, the ‘pirates’ talk about creativity and open communication and sharing. Let’s get real. Do we really think Berry Gordy founded Motown Records solely in the hope that people would hear the music and be inspired? I don’t doubt that his love of music affected his business decisions but the desire to make money surely played a part as well. The idealism that was rampant in the speakers in Steal This Film II, need to be tempered with realism. Not every artist creates just for the sake of creativity. The musician that creates music and distributes it for free on the internet is great. But what does he use to live? Last time I checked, we need money to live.

Artists should be paid for their work since that’s exactly what it is… work.  Even the creators of Steal This Film II seem to acquiesce to this point, as remarkably, they ask for money at the culmination of their film!

I don’t have a solution to appease either side. But instead of battling each other, or waging the war in the hopes that one wins outright, they need to figure out a solution where both come away satisfied.

  1. e-mickann says:

    I completely agree, this is a difficult battle for either side. I think that the music industry needs to re-consider its pricing. I mean on itunes each song is $1 but if you purchase 15 songs that is the same cost of a cd. The industry still makes so much money as do movies. They have to find a balance somewhere.

  2. Pat Daddona says:

    You nailed the essence of this film, start to finish. Yet I found it exciting to see how much technology has changed the rules of the game. We haven’t heard the last on this.

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