Teenagers: "I don't pay for music anymore"
This is sort of obvious data for anyone who has been paying any attention, but it's certainly refreshing to hear the things from the horse's mouth. This hilarious panel took place in Web 2.0 conference, with a bunch of innovators, creators, visionaries and hackers talking to five teenagers. Some choice quotes from the bunch, none of whom recognized the word Skype :-D
3 of 5 have ipods.
Sean: I thought it would be nice to pay the artists initially, but then my computer crashed, so I used Podutil to bypass Apple's DRM and get music from a friend.
Sasha: I have 10 paid songs out of 1500 on my iPod.
Steph: I never pay for downloading a song, I go to a friend's house to get their music.
Q: Let's say you want to buy a CD player, where would you go?
Sean: ummm, a CD player...? (laugher)
Q: Where do you guys go for news?
Sean: reuters, NPR podcast, "I'll go to multiple news sites because i don't trust any one site."
In five-ten years, these will be the guys thinking about the future. And they're used to having free music that is not tied to owning a physical copy or a single computer. In the developing countries such as China and India this will be even more so.
The discussion about whether one can copy a copy-protected CD or not is not really about CDs. It's about freedom to control your own environment and your own life. The copyright industry wants to turn the world into a police state, where they have the power - because they think they own music, and they should also decide how others must consume it, simply because being a monopoly is a good profit opportunity. The new legislation contains the first steps towards this.
Professor Matti Pohjola points out one key difference between patents and copyright: Patents don't stop you from innovating on an old idea (you are free to improve on an existing design and patent it yourself), but copyright does. You cannot make derivative works of a copyrighted song, for example, without explicit permission. Copyright always requires you to make a new work, which means that from a cultural perspective, any work of art protected by copyright is a dead end.
I strongly feel that copyright and patent legislation should be converged. After all, they're currently used for similar purposes: controlling and monetizing "intellectual property". We Finns should start by moving the copyright issues from our Ministry of Education to our Ministry of Trade and Industry, where patent, trademark, and consumer issues are currently already being handled.
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