...now on my laptop...

Tuesday, 2002-11-19

Rip, Mix, Burn

Joey writes about a meeting of the Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, where the Hollywood lawyers are pissed at Silicon Valley ...
There was much resentment in Hollywood over one of Apple's recent ad campaigns, "Mix, Use, Burn" (or whatever the wording was) - much resentment ...

The wording was "Rip, Mix, Burn" and I (working at Apple at the time) thought it to be particularly rude and insensitive wording, that would lead to some bad PR. It's almost as if Apple did not know the etymology of the slang "Rip" for copying CD tracks to hard drives -- from "Rip Off", as in "Steal".
... P2P allows new, unknown and obscure musicians to have the music better distributed. Bllsht. If the EFF crowd really gave a damn about such people, they would raise money to buy a whole bunch of large, fast servers and donate them to the Library of Congress...

Yeah, right. In fact, people do discover new music via P2P networks. EFF's small budget is so dwarfed by the billions of Hollywood dollars and by Silicon Valley dollars that it's ludicrous. These corporate stooges don't even seem to realize that their enemy is not other corporations; it's the humans (i.e.,the non-corporations) who are asserting their right to eliminate the gross inefficiencies of the old-fashioned distribution networks that pay for these lawyers' lives.

Of course, they also fail to realize that even if Silicon Valley companies wanted to help out with Hollywood's fatal problem, it is an utterly impossible task.

In the case of music, well, there has been a surplus of good music ever since we first learned how to record music. That adds to the RIAA's woes, as does the fact that just about anyone with a little talent can create their own music. None of the excess technology used in music these days — microphones, electric instruments, samples, overdubs, etc. — adds any value whatsoever to the quality of the music itself. (Well, maybe electric guitars, but only in Hendrix', Clapton's, or Santana's hands.) So even if the RIAA and all of its record distribution companies were to vanish instantly, no one would miss them in the slightest, except for their employees.

The argument that "people won't make music if they can't make a living at it" is just plain false. Music is generally a case of (as Mark Pilgrim wrote), "Do whatever it is that you can't not do." [I mentioned that entry in my other weblog last summer.]

In the case of movies, the P2P networks will in fact kill some Hollywood corporations, and there are some films that will not be made. I guess that means it's time to short the over-inflated stock in the film companies.

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