Antiquated giant goes after astute coders, again...
What on eath does this firm think it's playing at? They try to sell machines that despite being genuine computers, are supposedly restricted to only running that which the great god $soft has personally approved. What do they want to do? Kill off imagination and innovation? The only way they can tell what modifications have been made to hardware that they have sold (you rmemeber the term 'sold' surely, it involves transference of *ownership* - which used to mean that the new 'owner' could then use the device in any way s/he sees fit) is to spy on the data sent up the comlink. Seeing as the device is in total control of what bytes get sent, and seing as how it is *so* difficult to prevent particular uses of a device subsequent to someone else *owning* it, I think they're on to something like a losing streak here.
When will people see that in this day of instant file sharing there is absolutely no point in attempting to charge by copy. It makes as much sense as trying to charge per usage of a CD on someone's CD shelf during a house party.
The solution, is so obvious that it would be in place by now, were it not for the fact that the biggest money players (the RIAA and MPAA) stand to lose a large proportion of their income (unless they miraculously acquire 21st century thought processes) for the simple reason that their principle activity, duplicating and distributing media at hyperinflated prices, has become redundant.
Who needs to walk to the nearest music shop and buy a copy of a piece of music imprinted onto a very perishable plastic substrate when they can click a couple of buttons on their computer and rapidly gain a digitised version of the same onto a duplicable hard drive file? Why would anyone bother? What these people (the music distribtution industry) don't realise is that they are, effectively, already dead. It's just that they refuse the loan of a shovel.
Distributing data on pieces of plastic died at about the beginning of the last decade. Since then more and more people have acquired multi megabit network connections to virtually anywhere in the world. Why waste time and energy going in search of a hard-copy when the data is accessible by a mouse click or two?
The only common ground between those who love media and those who love profit-line is that the artists *must* be paid for their contribution to humanity. That said, the get-rich-media-distributors are less concerned about the artist being paid than they are about themselves getting rich, as evidenced by the low returns they offer whenever they can get away with it. Anyhow, the common aim would easily be reached by the sale of universal media-licences. The licence grants you the rights to use any piece of work submited to the central publishing server. The central publishing server needn't be too expensive in these days of cheap computing and cheaper bandwidth, and because it offers the fastest possible rate of transfer and the most reliable content, a sufficiently high proportion of users would choose it as their source to guarantee its demand to be representative of the overall demand for any given work. This then renders it easy to properly distribute the revenue earnt among the producers of the work.
Checking up on the presence of a licence would be as easy as checking up on the registration number of a car (motherboard serial combined with easy change of ownership or upgrade of hardware - exactly as DVLA, the UK vehicle licencing folk, do for cars) - it would become much harder to disguise content as legal because one licence covers all, and the lack of a licence covers any. Inside of it you could 'roll up' a streaming licence, provided the centralised streaming distribution didn't add extreme overheads.
If done that way then on point of sale, there could be either a licence included in the price, or a signed disclaimer stating that you have no intention of using the PC to access digital media. How simple can you get? No wonder the RIAA are petrified of the idea as it immediately illuminates how antiquated and unsustainable their entire business model is. Plus, if you sit and do the sums, the artists would be of the order of ten time better off for the work they produce than they are under the current sharks. Another fact the RIAA would rather no one knew.
As a final appealing benefit (to the libertarians perhaps) is that done this way, because the cost of a submission is so low, otherwise unknown artists could upload their content, and provided a threshold is reached (perhaps 10 copies downloaded) to cover the setup costs, they would immediately start getting paid exactly what they earn. No awkward producers or PR folk to convince, just upload it, ket people know, and wait for the revenue to come trickling in (if your work is good enough). I think the right starting point for this to work would be a convincing presentation aimed at currently successful artists (Peter Gabriel springs to mind) as once their weight is behind it and they are lobbying the governments concerned (forget the RIAA, they'll fight it tooth and nail) there is little anyone can do to prevent the *next* logical step in the development of a truly global network.
Yours, Noogin. (Ignore name given at top, it renders emails from this bunch all the funnier to read - imagine 'Dear' before it :))