Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Poor Middlemen

Most people think that copyright is a property right however it isn’t. Copyright is a government granted monopoly. The government via legislation creates these monopolies on music, movies, photographs and books as an “incentive” for creators to create more. Then all the middlemen step in and start make money that way.

That is how the record labels made money.

That is how managers made money.

That is how sheet music sellers and music publishers made money.

That is how record stores made money.

Every time the copyright industry is faced with competition, they start mobilising the lawyers. If they cannot sue, they then start lobbying hard to get laws passed so they can sue. If they cannot get federal laws passed to suit their obsolete business models, they then organise secret treaties/pacts which force all governments to pass the laws they want.

At no point does the copyright industry ever say to itself, that they should compete. Their “solution” to legal competition is to either make the competition illegal or organise a new fee that needs to be paid for the new technology.

All the middlemen do is live off what the government grants them. They never create. They never innovate. They merely take their cut. When their cut gets too small, they blame everyone but themselves. They even go as far as to sue their own customers or demand to have them kicked off the internet. As if that would magically make them start paying the old tolls again.

There was a story doing the rounds here in Australia about how piracy is killing the film industry. In the article the film maker is supportive of the Australian government’s new proposals, that would hold the ISP’s responsible for copyright infringement.

It is the usual rhetoric, that each illegal download is a lost sale/movie ticket. Just say if the movie was available for streaming at the same time as it’s movie cinematic release? Guess that thought didn’t cross the mind of anyone. What copyright infringement highlights is a gap in the business model of the people behind the movies.

It is the usual view that if someone spent money to make something and it doesn’t make any money then the government needs to step in and protect them. What about all of the developers and inventors that tried and failed. Did the government step in and protect them with legislation?

Do you want to know why Marvel movies or other comic book/graphic novels are big ticket items today? It’s because of sharing, copyright infringement and the second hand book market. You have more and more people exposed to a product, it is highly likely that a connection will be made.

Do you want to know why Iron Maiden plays sold out shows to manic fans in Central and South America without even selling a large number of albums? Yep, piracy.

How do you think Metallica got so large in China that they got the chance to play a few sold out shows there? Surely it must have been sales of CD’s.

What the copyright industries want is the governments to pass legislation that would eliminate the motivation for rights holders to make their content available cheaply and discourage them from investing in more innovative ways to distribute movies and TV shows.


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