Friday, November 25, 2005

Cory Doctorow needs a bitchslap

Some of the threads/posts on Boing Boing piss me right the hell off.

It took me a while, as I made my way through the archives, before I realized many of these posts were written by the same contributor: Cory Doctorow.

See, I just finished a stint at Ryerson University (don't worry if you've never heard of it, the term "university" is misleading) in the Radio and Television Arts program, where many of the students were cybergeeks. Or at the very least very cyber-literate. Considering "hotmail" was a word I learned in the second year of my undergrad (1994...oh man, that is way too long ago), I am not quite at their level, though I speak the language (my first computer was a Vic20...oh man, that was way too long ago - part deux).

Many of the "kids" there (and they were kids - especially since Ontario got rid of OAC/Grade 13 - another subject for another day) were advocates of downloading music and movies. No matter what you told them, they thought it was their right to have access to that content.

That's the biggest crock of shit I've ever heard.

Yes, I've downloaded a few CDs worth of tunes myself, but I make no bones about what I've done. It is infringing upon the copyright of the artists I selected and I have that on my conscience. But don't feed me this argument that "music belongs to everyone" or "well, if it's on the net, it's fair game". Hogwash. You're stealing the music. Admit it, deal with it, go to Hell if that's what the Plan is, just don't make excuses.

My own personal guilt is somewhat assuaged by the fact that I would not have bought those CDs. I don't buy CDs. I don't care for music enough to pay $15-$20 for the 4 or 5 songs I might like by one artist. My tastes are eclectic enough that I actually prefer compilation CDs and refuse to buy albums at that price point. So, in effect, I might argue that, in my case, the music industry benefits from me downloading the music, since I am exposing myself to an artist to a greater degree than I otherwise would have. As a result, that artist is more likely to get my attention when it comes to concerts or endorsements.

But that's pretty weak, too. I stole it. I know it. I'm going to Hell. At least it's warm.

See, this is where my good friend Cory comes in. He advocates this piracy crap. He mocks those who think it's theft. He is one of those guys who thinks the industry should change to suit his habit. The industry should adapt to the technology, copyright be damned.

(uh, oh, my blood's starting to boil...)

I'm a supporter of copyright. People should be rewarded for their creations. The point of copyright was to allow an inventor a monopoly over their product for a period of time, so that they might reap the rewards of their creation in any manner they saw fit for its marketing and distribution. After that period, the invention was fair game.

And it worked.

Yeah, a lot of people make crazy amounts of money of it, but boo-effing-hoo. They created the thing? They deserve the cash.

And don't even think about quoting Betamax to me. Have you actually READ that ruling? The majority judges were way off base and had no foresight. I'm not going to bother pointing out the flaws in THAT decision. Read the dissenting opinion. That judge was spot on.

Back to Cory. Cory's from Toronto. Which should make me want to cut him some slack. But, damn, son, you should know better. Stop advocating all this hacking and piracy, man. Yes, the entertainment industry is a juggernaut and makes a boatload of cash and does stupid things like put DRM on their product, but it don't make the cybergeeks right.

My housemate Dan gets the brunt of my Cory rantings. Every once in a while I'll send him an email about something I saw on Boing Boing and why I'm losing my mind over it. Here's a recent example:


> It never ceases to amaze me the ridiculous arguments (typically young) media content rippers will come up with to justify their actions and accuse the content providers of being old and stupid.

I've heard this argument before and it is ridiculous. It is indicative of the type of person who says "well, they should come up with new business models" (as if it's THEIR responsibility to react to thieves) and in fact, cannot come up with suitable ones themselves.

So let me get this straight. The content provider/studio/whoever should make a deal with sites like Napster etc to "regulate" the distribution of the content THEY ALREADY OWN.

Sure. Let's do that.

Napster makes a killing for coming up with this thievery, but at least the "industry" has some control, right? Uh....but then Grokster comes along. Does the industry "cut a deal" with them, too? And any other "ster" that comes along to blackmail them? This is stupid. Where would it end? Every computer geek on the planet would be lining up to get their piece of the pie.

Bottom line: content creators should be able to control how their content is distributed. Period. They've earned that right.

Mark Pesce should be lobotomized. And if he thinks that's unfair, well, he should quit bitching and come up with a "new thinking model".


If I ever go off for Dan again, I'll try to remember to post it here, too. Why waste a good rant? Or a rant, at least...

I wonder if Cory or Mr. Pesce will discover my blog if they google their own names? Hmmmm...

Coooooory! Come out to plaaayyyy!

(ah, yes: "The Warriors" - 1979)

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