[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: DVD vs. Video/ the Evil Copyright Empire

> I suspect that general release movies go to an inexpensive VHS
> pricing model
> while the more specialized, such as are in Academic collections and of
> interest to small groups, i.e specialized titles,continue with high VHS
> prices.

This is probably true, though I still wonder why there are $110 and $15
versions of Moulin Rouge on VHS.  Weird.

> It's obvious music is in a recession. The why I suspect is much more than
> the open and shut denunciation and blame the industry places on file
> swapping.

Well, right.  I don't think anyone (not even the music industry) is
arguing that Napster is the the only reason for the industry's woes; it's
been in a downturn since the early 1990s.  The question isn't whether
Napster is the _only_ cause, but whether Napster's model (in which
everyone in the world is free to make unauthorized copies of anything they
want) is acceptable.  I have yet to hear a coherent argument in its
defense.  And that said, I think only the most willfully dense would argue
that Napsterism hasn't accelerated the downturn.  How could it fail to?
Given the choice between buying music and getting it for free, and given a
fuzzy understanding of (or willful disregard for) copyright law, who's
going to buy?

> The copyright empire seems to have decided that blaming the customer is a
> winning approach to regulatory action.

Good heavens.  The Copyright Empire?  I want the movie rights!  Here's the

Darth Elsevier: "Well, Darth Warner, the time has come."

Darth Warner: "Yes, the glorious day has arrived.  Now that our merger is
complete, our powers of copyright are sufficient to destroy every last
remnant of scholarship, creativity, intellectual freedom and musical
innovation in the universe."

Darth Elsevier: "Shall we begin with the planet Bibliotek?"

Darth Warner: "Yes!  Press the button!  Press the button!"

Darth Elsevier (as a distant planet is obliterated): "Take that, rebel
scum! Your days of downloading Weezer album tracks are at an end!
BWAAAA-HAA-HAA-HAA!  (wheeze, cough)"

Darth Warner (shuddering with pleasure): "Oh man, I love that.  Love it.
OK, now blow up Chicago.  Our spies tell me it's a real hotbed of
information freedom fighters..."

> (and yes, I personally have experience
> with sholarly publlishers privately disagreeing with IP industry
> initiatives while publicly remaining silent).

How funny!  I have the same experience with librarians on LIBLICENSE who
contact me privately to say they agree with me, but who would apparently
never dare say so in public.  (Could it be a sign of the health of our
profession that people are so afraid to express dissent in a public forum?

> There is some indication that kids in the lower grades are less
> tolerant of
> unpaid use.( a report in the news yesterday).Having lived with a 20
> something (our son) I can say without fear of Rick proving me wrong ;) not
> everyone with a highspeed modem and a pc is interested in file swapping.

That's good to hear.  But let's call a spade a spade -- the use of terms
like "sharing" and "swapping" to describe what happens on Napster and
Morpheus is tendentious (after all, what decent human being would object
to sharing?).  Sharing is when you lend or give one of your legitimate
copies to someone else; swapping is when you trade a copy for another
copy.  What happens on these online services is copying.  We can argue
about whether the copying is legal or illegal or right or wrong, but
please, let's not call it "sharing."

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno        "When you think Phil, you
1664 No. Virginia St.              think hip-hop."
Reno, NV  89557                       -- Phil Donahue
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273
FX  (775) 784-1328