|IM A PIRATE, YOURE A PIRATE, WE ARE ALL PIRATES
Aug 03, 2002, 12:25pm
All the copyright crap that's going down is really getting me down as of late.
If you read through the archives here, you'd probably think I'm all about stealing MP3s, lifting book copyrights, etc etc.
That isn't the case. I believe that music should be paid for, and that books should be paid for.
But I also believe that as a buyer, you should have some serious rights as well. For instance, if you buy a book, you have the right to read that book in whatever format you want. I happen to like reading books on my Sony Clie (or my PocketPC). But book publishers don't give me that choice. In fact, they want me to pay twice for the "privilege" of reading a book I bought in paperback form, if I want to read it on my Clie. That is wrong, but in the US and in Canada, the law is on the book publisher's side (albeit in a very muddy way).
I happen to own every fiction book by Tom Clancy. Some in both hardcover and paperback. If I bought the hardcover should I get the paperback for free? No, because there's a tangible cost there in materials, delivery, shipping, and re-editing, along with other costs. I acknowledge that, though I still think that hardcover buyers should be given a cut rate for paperbacks because they've already paid for the license to read the book. (that's another story).
But really - there's very little in the way of cost of delivering a digital version of a book. The work's been done - books are laid out in a desktop publishing application, and all it requires is printing to Microsoft .lit format, or PDF, or Palm .doc format using no brainer tools. The cost is minimal, and even if you throw in CD costs and packaging, you're talking $0.05, $0.10 per book. More like $0.02 or less if made an electronic download.
Still, this isn't around today, and with the current round of pro-corporate copyright laws going around, if you scanned your own book and converted it to text and put it on your Palm Pilot, you'd be breaking the law. If you find a book online and download it from a pirate channel, you'd be breaking the law.
Well, I've found Palm-pilot versions of almost all the Tom Clancy books, and I've downloaded them, and I've read them on my Palm. I guess I broke the "law". No moral or ethical laws, mind you - but a pro-corporate set of laws (and bills) that would make me into the next Hitler.
I hesitate to even get into MP3s. I own about 350 CDs (original) that I have bought over the years. But in 1999, if I "cut and pasted" various songs from these Cds onto a compilation CD to listen to the series of music I wanted to listen to, in Canada, I would be breaking the law.
In 2000, I wasn't breaking the law if I did this, but guess what - the music industry got the government to tax me for this "privilege". In 2000, every blank CD sold in Canada had a "levy" (another word for tax) on blank recording media, with the money going into the pocket of Celine Dion and Bryan Adams, and other musicians - the higher their sales, the more money they got. In 2001, this levy was jacked up to just under 50 cents a CD, and in 2003, they're aiming to have it over a dollar, and possibly two dollars per blank CD. The madness won't end.
My problem is I burn through a lot of blank CDs - about 25 a month, doing backups of our company's work, projects, word files, photoshop files, and prepping CDs for clients, with their work on the CD. In a given year, I may burn 3 or 4 CDs into music compilation discs, out of approximately 300 blank CDs bought and used.
So in 2002, after burning some 300 CDs, I will have paid the government a tax of $150 for blank media. You know what that number says to me? I just paid for the right to find and download 11 full CDs' worth of MP3s of music I want, without going to A B Sound to buy the CD. In 2003, it will mean I just paid for the right to find and download 22 CDs' worth of music.
Prior to this levy, I had no problems buying CDs. I felt they were overpriced at times for the music you want (one or two songs for most artists, the Tragically Hip excepted), but with this levy in place, my will to go into a music store and buy a music CD has greatly diminished, and my ethics, which I think are normally very high, tell me there is no moral dilemma in downloading 10 or 11 CDs' worth of music, or 130 songs, without paying for it. Because I actually have paid for it. But hey, if I do, I'm an evil pirate.
When you look at how far the pendulum has swung over to RIAA-backed companies, the MPAA who are trying to force thru legislation in the US to make their own efforts at hacking above the law, and how RIAA-supporting companies are ripping off their own artists and trying to make you and I pay $2USD or more per song to download when you already own the CD with the same song, I really wonder who the pirates are.
|Previous Ten Daily Rants
|The continued fallout on auto gratuities
|| 5:35pm, 08/09
|Final thougths on price gouging, auto gratuities coming soon
|| 12:50am, 03/04
|The Real Reasons for Olympics Auto Gratuities
|| 7:20pm, 02/19
|Vancouver Olympics - Nice Prices, Profiteer (gouger) Restaurant Listings
|| 12:15am, 02/18
|More on Auto Gratuities
|| 6:45pm, 02/16
|Price Gouging in Vancouver During Olympics (and Price Heroes!)
|| 12:20am, 02/16
|Ideal Mac (or any pc) netbook....
|| 8:05pm, 12/22
|NetMacBook Hackintosh Update
|| 12:20am, 12/20
|NetMac... er Hackintosh... er NetMacBook. Yeah
|| 5:20pm, 12/17
|Balance Board Wii Game I'd like to see - Boxing!
|| 4:00pm, 07/26
Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D