re: SOPA: Stop Grandstanding, Start Crafting An Alternative
People copy stuff because they want free stuff. Free software, free movies, free music. That shows that there is a strong interest in these products. People also like the convenience to pull content off the web within a minute and go watch the movie or listen to music. Since there is no money back guarantee on a DVD or CD it is not that odd that many rather circumvent the rules than pay up dearly for something they don't end up liking or in case of a movie or a book will not watch or read more than once. People also love flat rates. They love them for their cell phones, internet access, and Chinese buffets.
So why doesn't the almighty media industry come together, make one web portal for books, music, software, and movies and charge a flat rate per month or a per item charge. Make that per item charge be like a quarter for a movie and dime for a CD. Put an expiration date on it. Feel free to make that expiration clock in after a few days.
For example, I want to watch a movie right now. My cable provider charges 3.99 for a halfway decent movie. Netflix subscription was canceled long ago, mainly because their online catalog is pathetic. The Fire is not an option as I am chronically short on cash and don't want to spend 200 bucks for a digital shopping window. So, do I search through the endless amount of sleazy sites that often pass on more than just a movie (meaning virus, trojan, etc)?
What I would do without hesitation is pay a quarter, watch the movie, then throw it away. I wouldn't even cry if I disliked it. And if I really love it, why not offer to pay a bit more and keep it forever with the right to stream it to any device I like?
Will that eliminate all pirating? No, it will not, but the convenience of safe and cheap entertainment will easily win over people. And making pennies per piece means that selling a lot of units will make a lot of money. And a quarter per item is more than the media companies get now with pirated stuff, which is nothing.
Just think back when Napster was the place to get all kinds of music. Rather than to embrace the technology the media bullies killed it off. Only later Apple picked up that same idea, called it iTunes, and made bulkloads of cash with it. They understood that 99 cent songs are good business (although I still think that is expensive) if you sell a lot of them. And once the distribution rights are bought it all comes down to volume.
The RIAAs should have taken the money that they shoved into the behinds of flip-flopping politicians and team up with Apple or Amazon and throw the content for cheap at as many people as possible. Or roll your own to cut out the middlemen, but embrace the technology rather than fight it.