Megaupload made a LOT of money distributing content which they did not hold the copyrights for. Which means, THEY made money, the authors and publishers and illustrators and musicians – DID NOT.
You’re also wrong about the ownership of ideas. True, one person cannot ‘own’ an idea, but he does own the rights for the manifestation of that idea. If you wrote a book – even if it’s the same old story – it’s still something you’ve created for other people to enjoy… if you want to do it for free, it’s your choice! But the world should not FORCE you to do so. That’s why there are copyright laws – we are going to see a whole lot less quality content because of two very big movements:
You’re missing the point there. Yes, megaupload made money of allowing the download of “free” works. You’re absolutely right on that. And yes, no one paid the authors. Yet why didn’t the authors, publishers & producers got in on megaupload model of business? They could perfectly well have said: “here’s our works, sell them as a part of a cheap 20$ for 25GB of download up to 3 months, no DRM. Pay us the percentage of income.” or even just the percentage of the advertising business.
That would be a simple deal. The consumer knows he’s doing a “legit” business, paying the persons he respects and admires, megaupload would get paid by providing the interface, and the sheer convenience of the whole thing would make people join the idea and spend their money there.
I prefer ten thousand times to pay for my content and get it all nice and clean and properly tagged, with a nice pdf booklet or stuff and to go somewhere “nasty”, full of popups and strange hacks, and never having certainty of what i’m downloading.
But you know what i don’t like? being treated like a criminal moron. Having to spend 10 minutes reading FBI warnings, about me pirating the movie i just bought, or watching unstoppable & unskippable trailers. Or waiting 2 years for the movie that i want to see becomes available in my “geographical dvd” area. Or paying over 25$ for the recording of a music performed by a maestro, orchestra and composer dead over decades¢uries ago. Or not even having the “privilege” to get those works because the editor, publisher or distributor couldn’t care less.
You know what else i don’t like? That if i develop a new combustion engine, or a new cancer vaccine or a new pain killer, or even a new kind of prosthetic material, i get to have the “monopoly” of those “idea fixations” for exactly 20 years. no more. And i have to pay for them in every country in the world. And if it is health related, i will probably spend half of those 20 years doing mandatory safety tests. And somehow, this other guy that “recycles” a impossible love story into book or films, a little folk tune in to a techno music gets to have his life plus 70 years. I’m sorry can you somehow explain to me what possible benefit can came to society from that aberration?
And now you say, “well it’s our god given right! to the ownership of our creations!” Well, sorry, it’s not. The intellectual property laws were enabled and created by the Society, to promote the general development of arts and science because that would in turn benefit the Society. The purpose of the intellectual property laws is not to pamper rock stars or authors or even geeky engineers and chemists, but to benefit the society! That is its ultimate goal. The way how it is done, is a reflection of the ways available on their time.
And here we are, somewhere on the fifth/sixth millennium of human civilization, provided with the most magnificent tool of creativity and information distribution since the Gutenberg’s Press or the alphabet and writing, and there’s some ten thousand schmucks (all of the antiquated publishers and some silly artists) trying to stop the movement and development of rest of the seven billion of us. How do you guess that’s going to end?
“When you’ve eaten an orange, you have to go back to the shop to buy another. In that case, it makes sense to pay on the spot. With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products.
‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection.
Artists are (usually) not the main problem here, the intermediaries are. They are the ones afraid of losing the power and revenue that comes of mediating between artists & idealists and the world.
The sad part is that they could change as well and get the best spot on the new land grab, but they are just too dumb to see it. So they will wither away, mourned only by the sounds of an angry crowd armed with pitchforks.
Apple’s 2011 Q4 results. Guess there was no problem relating to the Thailand floods…
It’s also interesting to note that the iPad is already a bigger business in revenues than the Mac, a “premium” computer line. Not sure if i actually like that1 but it is undisputedly a sign of the times.2
in the sense that will probably lead to a prioritization of efforts by Apple on iOS and iPad related software and even less attention on the Mac OS X side of things. [↩]
“However, the attempt to ban cars caused Petro Dale to wake up to the threat of railways. They realized that even though much more commerce took place with cars and roads, and even though railways were becoming increasingly irrelevant, they would remain a potential regressive threat. In the past Petro Dale had sought to do business with the incumbent food network distributors, suggesting ways of taking the mass market food produce and distributing it to new franchises like mobile food trucks and fast food restaurants. They were spurned. Now they realized that trying to work with Fernforest was not just futile but harmful.”
How the internet displaced/will displace the old media distributors/publishers, in a nice metaphor story. The funny bit is even if the current MPAA, RIAA and their associates management personnel read it, they wouldn’t understand it.
“The Keychain can also store secure notes. These are just snippets of text, but because they’re part of your Keychain, they’re safe from prying eyes. To create a secure note, click on the Note icon in the toolbar. Give the note a name; then type your note text or paste it in from another application, such as TextEdit, Microsoft Word, or your e-mail client (see “Don’t Pass This Note”).
A secure-note item works much like a password item: you can see information about the note in the Attributes panel at the bottom of the Keychain Access window. By selecting the Show Note option and providing your account password, you can view the note itself.”
Was considering to write a simple tutorial for the use of the Keychain, as many don’t even realize it exists but of course the Macworld has already done such a job.
I love the possibility of writing small notes/pieces of text and keeping it secure and encrypted. I use it many times for storing personal data other than passwords and many times for keeping a “handwritten” backup of the passwords itself.
So, do yourself a favor and go read the quoted article about the keychain. You’ll be surprised with what the keychain can do and what time&life saving features it has.
This is plain rubbish. There is, or there ought to be, a limit to what companies should do to generate profits. If not for the sheer ethics of it, then for the simple point that a company that does not consider the long-term interest of their customers in their decision-making process, usually won’t have a bright long-term future too.
I can see 2 examples of this. First the is the simple reaction of Gruber, my self and many others to Google’s hypocritical “don’t be evil” motto, at the same time that they stampede over our privacy, use us as products and just push their monopoly around. Gruber has been a very vocal critic of this several times in the past. Now why not of Apple when they do a similar thing? And here i’m mostly referring to the non-standard output of ibooks author, not the whole EULA debacle that it’s still a mess in progress. Standard output and interoperable data files is something that i have very strong feelings about and i think that is something highly critical for the customer on the long run. Even if on the short run it goes unnoticed.
Second, is the long standing drop in reputation with the consumer and a general “discomfort” that flows around the “masses” regarding this type of situations. It is such a strong force1 that some companies struggle with it for years. Someone recently wrote2 that Google was the new Microsoft, it was impossible to go a day without using their products but it never felt good or comfortable doing so. And the result of this feeling, in Microsoft case, is that 90% or so3 of the consumers have no loyalty or “fondness” for Microsoft at all. And no sign of potential increase in the future. Most people will jump ships as soon as possible, as they have been doing in the last years. And the same feeling is starting to spread with Google and with Facebook. This tarnished image doesn’t easily disappear from the collective mind, no matter what the “renewed company” does.
Apple managed to survive their long past winter by having a small base of fiercely loyal customers. How many of these customers would remain loyal and faithful to Apple in a new winter if Apple gets the habits of pushing them around when they can? People don’t like being pushed around. And they remember it. For a long, long time…
Slightly edited at 17:00 GMT, 24/01/2012
although unrecognized and unappreciated by most by its discrete nature [↩]
“The MPAA studios hate us. They hate us with region locks and unskippable screens and encryption and criminalization of fair use. They see us as stupid eyeballs with wallets, and they are entitled to a constant stream of our money. They despise us, and they certainly don’t respect us.”
“ As corporations displace the power of individual citizens to determine the outcome of elections, the American political system will become increasingly compromised. Elections alone do not make a democracy, and even dictatorships have elections every now and then (and we all can predict the outcome). So as super PACs gain power in our electoral system, perhaps the most strident voice is the one that refuses to be duped by the absurdity of this new political system. And votes Colbert.”
“Wait, but what about the bookstores’ owners and employees—aren’t they benefitting from your decision to buy local? Sure, but insofar as they’re doing it inefficiently (and their prices suggest they are), you could argue that they’re benefiting at the expense of someone else in the economy. After all, if you’re spending extra on books at your local indie, you’ve got less money to spend on everything else—including on authentically local cultural experiences. With the money you saved by buying books at Amazon, you could have gone to see a few productions at your local theater company, visited your city’s museum, purchased some locally crafted furniture, or spent more money at your farmers’ market. Each of these is a cultural experience that’s created in your community. Buying Steve Jobs at a store down the street isn’t.”
Although i have a soft spot for a physical library and i romantically fantasize about them as a sort-of-temple of wisdom and knowledge, the hard truth is that i have hardly spent any time in one in the last years. I’ve purchased a couple of books online, received others as gift and read many stuff online or in my mac.1
And when or if i resume to my voracious book devouring life of the good ol’days, it’s very probable that i will do so resorting to Amazon. You simply can’t beat those prices and as Farhad says, with the money i save there i can either buy more books or indulge myself in other cultural&local activities.
no doubt also related to my current working life [↩]
“While what the album contains will change, I think the concept of the album will live on for some time. The entire current music catalog is based on albums, and the change necessary to move to a different unit of music—other than the song—will take some time.”
Interesting. I agree with most of what the author says. An Album is just a name, it’s contents has changed throughout history but i find it hard to believe that the vast majority of the audio lovers would resign to purchasing individual musics stripped of any context or surrounding.
On a side note, i dream of a day where your hi-fi stereo system picks its music from a household central NAS while an upgraded iTunes app supplies the artwork, lyrics and any other extras that might have come with the album to your iPad/iPhone/other device so that you can have the same experience of a current album now. Sometimes reading through the lyrics, the authors message and just handling those images while listening to the music is what makes the album special.
“We need a president who can work within our poisonous political environment to solve our nation’s problems, not simply score partisan points. Someone who understands that negotiation is essential in a representative democracy, and that there are good ideas across the political spectrum. Someone who has a well-defined set of core values but is not so rigid that he ignores new information and new conditions. Someone who has shown himself to be honest and trustworthy. And competent. Someone whose positions are well-reasoned and based on the world as it is rather than as he pretends it to be. Someone with the temperament and judgment and experience to be taken seriously as the commander in chief and leader of the free world.
We think Mr. Romney could demonstrate those characteristics. Mr. Huntsman already does. And we are proud to endorse him for the Republican nomination for president of the United States.”
Meanwhile on the Net, peoplestrongly discuss the behaviour of the iPhone mute switch. Because apparently there can be only one option in a 600€ phone. Pressing for a default or holding the switch for a second and then selecting a profile from a selection or customizing your own seems to be too cumbersome.
We’ve finally gotten the Apple product launch I’ve always dreamed of: Surly customers-to-be hurling eggs at Apple retail stores in Beijing halted sales of the iPhone 4S in that country. Well, it’s not exactly what I had hoped for. Turns out, the Chinese were just too excited to get the evolutionary device, forcing Apple to sell the iPhone 4S only electronically. Still, the sight of eggs on an Apple Store … You know, it just warms the heart. Speaking of which….”
“I’ve always cared about the headphones that I use, but if I am honest the depth of that care extended mostly to price and design alone. I wanted something priced higher than grocery store checkout line level, but far less than an audiophile would pay — mostly I just wanted my headphones to look cool.
There was also another thing: I liked the Apple headphones back then. I liked them for the same reason everyone else did back in the day: they told the world you had an iPod.”
Sometimes it’s really hard to deny that some “apple users” are all about “form” and show-off and not much about “function” and substance…1
That being said, is interesting to see how people approaches to the stuff they buy are so different. I would hardly ever pay more for a “coolness” / aesthetic factor to my products. I like them to be nice and beautiful. And a very, very small premium on that is acceptable. But that would never be my main differentiating factor. Nor the high price. If i can get them as cheaply as possible, then i’m on.
What I would pay more for, and i do, is for the quality and fulfilment of their general output/function. I also bought a couple of headphones2 last month. But aesthetics wasn’t even on the assessment card. They are audiophile grade, albeit entry-range, and what i’ve checked and read to buy them was specifications, user reviews by other audiophiles and the appreciations on some expert magazines. And the killer feature in this case was the really great price as i got them on a stock-cleaning sale.
I went trough the manufacture pictures and i carefully inspected every picture to try to understand the kind of headphones they were and what kind of materials they used. But aesthetics and “coolness factor”? Didn’t even crossed my mind.
just a quick note to say that while i sometimes disagree with Ben, i do very much respect him and his opinions. [↩]
in case you’re interested they are the Ultrasone HFI-780 really good headphones and strongly recommended! [↩]
“History shows us, again and again, that frontiers are lawless places, but that as they get richer and more settled, they join in the rule of law. American publishing, now the largest publishing industry in the world, began with piracy.”
“At present, Microsoft has 14 retail stores and plans to open up to 75 more over the next three years, usually placing them as close as possible to Apple outlets. “Well, the traffic is going to be there, and we’ve got to beat them anyway,” Ballmer says with a shrug. “
“If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us that’s great, because we need all the help we can get, and if we screw up and we don’t do a good job, it’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s our fault. So I think that is a very important perspective. If we want Microsoft Office on the Mac, we better treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude; we like their software. So, the era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over as far as I’m concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy, this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry and to get healthy and prosper again.”
“Oh, totally. That first-mover-piece-of-crap-jacked-up-with-a-bunch-of-“features”-like-3D-nobody-asked-for-and-slapped-together-without-any-thought-to-how-they’d-actually-be-used advantage is tough to overcome.”