I’m going to keep this post brief, but I thought I should write while I had the time.
I was cruising around my Twitter account when MentalFloss enticed me, as it is prone to do, with a title to an article that I simply couldn’t ignore. This time it was “The Insidious Cost of Ringtone Piracy”. Many former blog posts have included individual takes on piracy, each dealing with a differing point on Copyright usage — The most recent one being on the effects of YouTube and Copywright. This TED talk on “The Insidious Cost of Ringtone Piracy” is about 5 minutes in length and takes those seemingly random fines which organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America places on pirated material, and puts them into a delightfully humorous perspective for anybody willing to listen.
Rob Reid, the author of the talk, proposes the idea of “Copyright Math”. In even more basic terms, taking the arbitrary numbers that organizations like the MPAA apply to pirated materials and realizing what that amount ACTUALLY IS.
$150,000.00 is the precise amount of harm that comes to companies per pirated copy per pirated song according to the 1999 Copyright Damages Improvement Act. Reid makes the point that when the law passed, the most advanced mp3 player could hold roughly ten songs. By those 1999 figures alone, that mp3 player has the capability of holding $1.5 million of pirated material. With the advancement of technology, the average iPod can hold 40,000 songs, which is the equivalent of $8 billion of stolen music.
It’s no wonder that we need such aggresive copyright laws. Without them, the entire country would collapse and we would be forced to barter cigarettes for Billy Joel cassette tapes if we wanted any music.*
At any rate, if you are prone to the holiday, happy Saint Patrick’s Day and may the best of your today’s be the worst of your tomorrows.
[*note: Somebody should seriously create a sarcasm font...]