While this is an overly exhausted debate, I feel the need to share this article with you guys.
He starts of with a statement that made me cringe:
… I was on a panel the other day which opened with a question about the impact of the Internet on the entertainment business, and I responded, “I’m a guy who sees nothing good having come from the Internet. Period.”
I almost closed the browser when I read that, but I guess he was just trying to spark a flame.
… Contrast the expansion of the Internet with what happened a half century ago. In the 1950’s, the Eisenhower Administration undertook one of the most massive infrastructure projects in our nation’s history — the creation of the Interstate Highway System. It completely transformed how we did business, traveled, and conducted our daily lives. But unlike the Internet, the highways were built and operated with a set of rational guidelines. Guard rails went along dangerous sections of the road. Speed and weight limits saved lives and maintenance costs. And officers of the law made sure that these rules were obeyed. As a result, as interstates flourished, so did the economy. According to one study, over the course of its first four decades of existence, the Interstate Highway System was responsible for fully one-quarter of America’s productivity growth.
We can replicate that kind of success with the Internet more easily if we do more to encourage the productivity of the creative engines of our society — the artists, actors, writers, directors, singers and other holders of intellectual property rights — yes, including the movie studios, which help produce and distribute entertainment to billions of people worldwide.
But, without standards of commerce and more action against piracy, the intellectual property of humankind will be subject to infinite exploitation on the Internet. How many people will be as motivated to write a book or a song, or make a movie if they know it is going to be immediately stolen from them and offered to the world with no compensation whatsoever? And how many people whose work is connected with those creative industries — the carpenters, drivers, food service workers, and thousands of others — will lose their jobs as piracy robs their business of resources?
Internet users have become used to getting things when they want it and how they want it, and those of us in the entertainment business want to meet that kind of demand as efficiently and effectively as possible. But what has happened online is that if it is ‘beyond store hours’ and the shop is closed, a lot of people just smash the window and steal what they want. Freedom without restraint is chaos, and if we don’t figure out some way to prevent online chaos, the quantity, quality and availability of the kinds of entertainment, literature, art and scholarship we need to have a healthy, vibrant culture will suffer.
So what CAN we do then?
How can the music business survive, when everything is being stolen?
“Eff the music business, man! It’s what’s wrong with the world today. It killed the freedom of true artistic expression, dude!”
Please sit down, you hippie.
This isn’t about “real music” versus “diluted mainstream crap”. We can debate about artistry, and art vs commerce, and all that – but let’s stop using that as a bullshit excuse to justify pirating.
I’m not sure what the solution is, but I’m a firm believer in the “practice what you preach” mentality – and I still purchase music and movies – both digital and physical (hey.. I’m nostalgic, okay). Plus, I would hate to be part of the demise of an industry that employs me, or part of the reason that the world never gets to experience future music legends.
Bob Marley. Michael Jackson. Elvis Presley. Marvin Gaye. Aretha Franklin. The Beatles. 2pac. Bach. Ray Charles.
These are some of the legends we already know – because there was an industry in place to push them out to the world. But if we don’t find a way to support the industry now; the next greats will never get further than his/her own basement.
(Note: I’m not arguing for the current model. Of course not. I’m simply questioning the future of the business if we don’t find a way to financially support its continuation.)