August 18, 2000
Greed and Copyrights
I cannot fathom how any individual or corporation can make billions of dollars in profits each year with fair and ethical practices. Nobody is that great.
Napster vs RIAA. DeCSS vs MPAA. DOJ vs MS. No matter how you look at it, it all comes down to a matter of people versus monopolistic copyright holders. On one side, you see big fat corporations trying to suck as much dinero as they can from their oh-are-they-proud-of-it work. On the other side, you see the people, the laymen, the inferior class trying their best to make a living for themselves and enjoy what makes life so beautiful: human creativity, art, music, software.
People don't need a law degree and detailed knowledge of the U.S. Constitution to know that what's going on is wrong. This is just common sense. When you offer a service, you charge a fair price for it. When artists create music or movies or whatever, they should get a fair compensation for it. But, has Picasso ever gotten paid more than once for a given painting? Do engineers get paid for each car that crosses the bridges they built? Does your plumber get royalties everytime you take a leak? Hey, don't be fooled, someone did invent the toilet at some point. What if MS held copyrights on it now?
Music should be easily and cheaply available. Compact discs should not cost $15 when they only cost 25 cents or less to manufacture, store, and ship. That's called extortion. People should be able to use the DVD, for which they paid $25, with the player of their choice. That's fair use. The quality and affordability of software would probably be much higher if the MS beast had not englutted all its competitors.
But because the big fat corporations can simply buy off anyone or anything that could possibly stop them, they have ultimate power to do whatever they please.
The English language has a word that describes this kind of activity: tyranny.
Tyranny: [...] 3. Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: "I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" (Thomas Jefferson).
Given fair compensation, the product of the human mind, be it music, software, or some other art, should be free to share for the common good of mankind as a whole.
'nuff said. Have a nice day.
Published: August 18, 2000