Friday, November 11, 2005

Shareware Is Good!

Shareware equals piracy? But anti-copy protection equals terrorism!!!

Before I begin my long winded rant about the injustice of cracking down on pirateers as they have been miss appropriately been laboled (isn't laboling of any kind bad?), whatever happened to the honorable belief in the "creative commons deed" for artistic merits, not to mention, sharing the love?

Most people know how worked up I get about corporations cracking down on shareware and crying wolf of piracy everytime somebody downloads or uploads any digital data which may in some way be relevant to their product. It's a joke. You all may know my stance on piracy of Anime, music, etc., that if companies don't want it digitized and shared freely over the internet, they should either change their medium or not make the music, product, etc. in the first place, period.

Here's my theory on why share-ware technology is not harmful. Mainly, because the only way it can get to the internet is if someone buys it to begin with. Let alone all the hundreds of versions of the song, certain editions of the film, or whatever are only released in this geographic region, etc...meaning more than one person is buying the product to begin with. Most likely, hundreds (if not thousands) of people have preordered the product and paid hard cold cash beforhand. Today's consumer wants instant gratification, but here's the tricky part.

Lots of people want to protect their properties... mostly corporations, that wouldn't notice if hundred extra people bought their product or a hundred less ignored them completely. Huge companies wouldn't even feel the flux of such numbers, and they wouldn't even nottice the monitary shift in the balance at the end of the year. Those hundred or so consumers are just buffer zones at best, so why complain it they dititize their medium to put on their I-Pod and listen to that new hit single at work or while jogging? There's no harm in this.

What if they want to share that song with their best friend, or wife, who is on a business trip, so they send them a copy? Personal use is a-Okay in my opinion, if they already paid for the product. Another example of this would be a University club buying an original import of an Anime, and then fan-subbing it for club activity, practice, and enjoyment of the medium, and finally distributing it for free viewing. However, American companies are trying to crack down on this too, with lawas against endangering any "prospective" product which has its rights in negotiation by an interest group in the liscense of said property. This seems overkill, and this puts me off entirely to the redistributed product later on, but it's also the lengths corporations will go through to limit even this type of digital sharing that gets scary. What bothers me the most is that many companies don't even care about the consumer who is buying their product. They do what they want to make the bottom dollar, and the best one can say about that practice is, bad business.

Here's something that really got me steamed up, and aparently the government stepped up and said enough is enough with the anti-piracy protection stuff.

Their are many reasons I don't believe piracy hurts anything on the share-ware side of things, one for example, look at what "Star Wars," and "The Lord of the Rings" films grossed theatrically. They all were released online in one form or another, look at how the DVD sales of these films faired, broke all the records. If the product is good, people will want it. And why wouldn't you want the people to have a good product? If you make crap, your only asking for more piracy, because consumers are cautious, and nobody wants to blow their hard earned money on crap.

The only people share-ware could possibly hurt are the one's that don't have a good product. Begining start up, home films, or independant films can use it as free advertising, but the bottom line is you won't push sales or uploads as long as a product sucks. Yet piracy is still illegal, because it can hurt many private ventures, and interfear with marketing campaign practices, but the only reason piracy has become so prevelant is because of the accessability of the technology and people's understanding of it. However, if you make the technology too difficult/complex, then you run into the problem SONY has, of only a certain type of people understanding it. In this way SONY blatently dissarmed any chance of the consumer enjoying a product they turned over hard earned cash for, and then SONY armed terrorist computer hackers with a new means to attack people who don't understand the complex technology. What's more, these very same consumers were then attacked, and their own computers were infiltrated, and worst case senario, SONY and OTHER companies alike may have aided in the destruction of YOUR property. All because you tried to be a law abiding citizen. Another reason I'm for share-ware is, I don't want SONY or any other company destroying my damn stuff.

I think the legality has become sickening when everyone will sue you just for trying to even buy their product, or worse yet, they'll destroy your entire computer and music entertainment enjoyment with their product. This is plainly sabotage of the consumer, but it can only back fire in the corporations faces in the long run. This is an act of legal terrorism ventures, and I think piracy should be the least of everyones worries. When companies go to the extremes of gorilla tactics and terroristic means to ensure their "product" is so safe guarded from the consumer that the consumer can't even use the product, something is direly wrong with the system. I can sum it up in one word, GREED.

Now from what I understood of the term piracy is when someone loots and plunders, stealing the product in question, and then turning around trying to make a profit on something that they have no right making money off of; namely other peoples ideas and hard work.

What the legal standpoint of the corporations are saying is that piracy is anything that "threatens" to deminish money which they may or may not make from the product in question. So this automatically rules out share-ware, because it the product is bad, all those free MP3's of the song floating around on the web won't help sales any. However, if anyone had even taken the time to study the sales charts, no hit single in the top ten of the Billboard charts have ever suffered from share-ware and the premature "piracy" onto the world wide web. At best, as I have pointed out earlier, it only acted as free advertisement and probably boosted the sales. The middle man may suffer of course, not being a top roller, and still having to try and make a living.

Piracy is wrong if it is used to hurt or take away from the original owner/creator of the product in question, but like I said, if these people don't want their products to be put on the web in a digitized form, don't make those products. The consumer will be happy to find some one less picky, at the fear of risk of sabotage, personal injury, or loss of property -namely terrorism against the consumer- nobody wants this! But don't count on getting any slack from the gluttony of modern day corporate interest in the cash cow. They all worship the new false idol.

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