Intellectual Pomposity

I’ve covered, or at least touched on, the subject of piracy time and time and time and time again. I’m going to touch on it again today. Suffice it to say, producers of music, movies, software, audiobooks and other digital media need, as an absolute necessity, to understand that a few basic bases need to be covered. They need to make the content available for purchase. They need to make it easy and convenient to purchase. They need to make it priced to sell.

As far as I’m concerned, as one of millions of Brits living abroad, the content producers that matter to me score zeros on all three criteria. Fail, fail, and fail. I download television shows from the US and UK illegally using bittorrent because they are often not available through any other source, or else they appear on Mexican television months and months later. I sometimes buy movies from the street at 10 pesos because the film, despite having been released months earlier, sometimes even on DVD, in the US, still hasn’t hit the cinemas in Mexico.

I also download from dubious sources almost everything I need, instead of paying for it, for another simple reason. Price. Yes, it is a global market. No, not all markets are the same. Take the photography software I use. If I lived in the UK, it would cost me maybe a weeks pay. Deal. I’ll part with my cash.

Here in Mexico it has the same price tag. However, very sadly, I don’t earn the same as I would in the UK. Now it costs me a months pay. No deal. I’m being ripped off. Couldn’t afford that much even if I wasn’t being ripped off. Thank you very much for the offer, but I’ll have it for free off a bittorrent site instead. Gracias.

There is one area where I perhaps would pay for use of music. I create videos now and again, and often put a music track over it. I’d almost always like to put a well known song on, but because it’ll get taken down for copyright infringement by You Tube or Vimeo etc, I don’t bother.

Instead I go to Jamendo and use music that is legally free. Result. So, Sony, EMI and others, now that you have competition, what are you going to do about it? I’d pay maybe 50 pesos for the right to use one of your songs on one of my videos.

They earn money and get the track a little extra exposure. Bargain! Both of us win! Except, the music industry is fighting that too, and as a result, earn nothing, gain no exposure and sink closer to the abyss of bankruptcy. Unbelievably, they even fail to see opportunity when it slaps them in the face.

Take a look at the video below. It’s a parody of a recent Alicia Keys track. It’s brilliant. Genius even. There’s money that could be made from that. Or should I say, could have been made from that. Because the reaction of EMI was to order the video be taken down immediately. It was. And hundreds uploaded it again….can EMI spell ‘losing battle’?

7 thoughts on “Intellectual Pomposity

  1. Gary – LUV’D the video – for one reason. I generally vehemently abhor rap of any sort, but this tickled my fancy.. I’ve been to ‘gogoch’ but this is the FIRST time I’ve ever heard someone actually pronounce the town’s FULL name! THANKS for the edification!
    Dan in NC

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    1. I’ll admit it…the whole post was an excuse to embed this video! There’s some classic lines in there, but the best one is indeed the place name. Squeezing Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch into a song takes some doing.

      🙂

      The name, apparently, means: St Mary’s Church (Llanfair) in a hollow (pwll) of white hazel (gwyngyll) near (goger) the swirling whirlpool (y chwyrndrobwll) of the church of St Tysilio (llantysilio) with a red cave ([a]g ogo goch)

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  2. Hysterical video, even though I’m quite sure I didn’t “get” it, but enjoyed it nonetheless. And yes, I too felt my jaw drop when they coolly dropped that 29 syllable welsh world seamlessly into the song.

    Now that’s chutzpah!

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there’s actually a couple of Newports close by, as the colonists weren’t particularly creative in thinking up new names for new places.

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  3. Too bad you will not be at the bloggers’ conference. I am going to be leading a discussion on the core issue. Your perspective would have been interesting. But you can bet that I will toss your ideas ion the table.

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    1. I do feel that a lot of bloggers get overprotective of the content they produce. I know of some who’ve got in a rage when parts of their posts are reproduced on those spam type blogs set up to try and earn cash through Google Adwords.

      But it’s barely worth worrying about it. If I sent off DMCA’s every time someone pinched some of my content, I’d barely have time to blog. It’s mildly annoying, but at the end of the day you get a free link out of it, a boost to your Google rank and a marginally wider audience.

      That’s one reason why I have the Creative Commons License that I have. Free for all non commercial use. Besides, if they’re reproducing just a paragraph or so, it’s arguably ‘Fair Use’. I take the same attitude with my photos, and I do practice what I preach!

      On the other hand, when a for profit, established publication steals content, that is another matter all together. Especially if they respond to claims for recompense with unadulterated BS like ‘all content on the web is public domain’. At that point I’d look to sue. Providing they have funds, you’re on to a sure fire winner. All the more so if a company of a seedy nature has done the pilfering!

      I hope we get a full report when you get back to blogging about the conference Steve. Anyone videoing the presentations?

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  4. A link I posted in the comment to Steve regards a for profit print magazine stealing content from bloggers has would up turning into quite a deal.

    http://www.edrants.com/the-cooks-source-scandal-how-a-magazine-profits-on-theft/

    What I really love is how Cooks Source, having been forced to take their Facebook page down and delete their website due to the rage of bloggers, are now whining and complaining that their business has been hurt. Good. They deserve bankruptcy from what I’ve read…

    http://cookssource.com/

    And last but not least, hellelujah! BBC’s iPlayer is going international! next year….when I’m back in the UK anyway….

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/09/bbc-iplayer-going-international-next-year-will-be-either-fee-o/

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