Feeds

Get a grip, file-sharing freeloaders: you've never had it so good

Don't get mad, get licensed

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Give me, give me, give me

But let's get a grip, people. You can start by dropping the role of put-upon victim in this pantomime.

Our chances of being caught by the RIAA or IFPI are somewhat less than being hit by lightning - or choking on a wasabi-flavoured peanut. The RIAA could up its legal campaign a thousandfold, and people would still carry on grabbing free stuff with little fear of being caught.

With odds like this, there's no reason ever to buy a physical product again - unless your printer or CD burner breaks down.

I tried a test yesterday: a just-released Top 40 album took 30 seconds to find, and just 18 minutes to download via Bittorrent. It arrived in lossless FLAC format, and had lovely artwork. With unlicensed music, the choice is outstanding and the quality higher than anything licensed. Naturally the artist doesn't receive a penny, and it allows my service provider to charge me nearer £20 than £2 a month, which is probably what the internet is worth without the free stuff.

Oppression? You must be joking!

However, just as you can hire professional mourners at funerals, there are now professionally angry anti-rights nuts, wailing at every news item with the trigger word "RIAA".

I wish I could say with confidence that the outrage was directed at the major labels' unwillingness to license music on terms that would make illegal services unnecessary. It's this unwillingness which ultimately betrays the artists and producers the RIAA is supposed to represent.

But no, I suspect the professional shouters are simply playing to the peanut gallery and expressing disgust that the copyright holder is making an effort to assert their rights. How dare they?

It's a token, futile effort by the RIAA to hold back the tide, but the rights holder has the moral high ground, here. Slice it anyway you want, but no one put a gun to Ms Thomas's head and forced her to crank up Kazaa. If she'd spent a few bob on CDs down the mall, she wouldn't have been slapped with a fine.

"If she'd just gone out and bought the stuff she'd be about $198,000 better off by now," one poster pointed out.

"Pay up or piss off," added another.

So file-sharers: if you want "free" music on demand to continue - you should start backing real proposals to make sure it happens on terms you like. There's certainly enough money around - text messaging alone is worth three times as much as the global music industry - to help licensed P2P appear to be free. Just remind network providers what their pipes would be worth without the "free" stuff: not very much at all.

Whining about your right not to pay artists simply removes you from the debate.

So spare me the phony outrage, please. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.