Friday 6 August 2010

What will happen when illegal file sharing stops?

What will happen when the very last evil, greedy, self-serving, thieving, file sharing miscreant, a blight on this fine earth and an affront to every decent law-abiding citizen is finally purged from the internet?  What will happen when big media get their way and every non authorised copy of music, video and writings are removed from the internet?  What will happen when mandatory 3 strikes legislation is introduced to all countries worldwide? What will happen when illegal file sharing stops?

The reason I ask such questions is that it appears that the world is quickly moving in this direction, and when the entire scenario presented above become reality, it makes these question more pertinent and the answers all the more important.

I have read countless articles on the plight facing the music, video and content industries as it struggles to survive let alone get paid for all the great and fantastic content that it contributes to our society. I have read of the billions and billions of dollars lost in sales to illegal piracy and the poor creators that can’t even put food on their table. I cry myself to sleep at night worrying if the industry groups such as the RIAA and MPAA will survive such an onslaught that this blatant disregard of copyright has wrought upon them.

So it is so pleasing that the governments have finally begun to act, to stem the tide, to ensure that the wealth and prestige of the anointed few can continue to rape and pillage the unwashed masses. It is enlightening to know, any one caught dealing/stealing non authorised copyrighted content will be charged, fined and banished to a leaper’s colony for their sins and I assume the rest of their nature life.

But still I am left wondering will people suddenly forget that the internet once existed as it once was, will we all pony up down at the local Blockbuster, realize that new film that we wanted to rent is not available to rent for another 6 months so we buy it.

Will we all purge our iPods of all illegal tunes and login to iTunes to legally download and of course purchase our favourite must have eight thousand desert island tracks. Will the older amongst us realize that we really need to update all those VCR and DVD’s to Bluray.

Will we suddenly realize that every article that we read on the internet that is not behind a pay wall was created by a hard-working writer and suddenly send them a micro PayPal contribution.

I am reminded of so many industries that have either disappeared or adapted their business models to changing technology and wonder if they had the clout of the content industries would they really have needed to alter their business at all.

And so the question remains What will happen when illegal file sharing stops? that is what I am waiting for. I don’t know the answer, but I am sure of one thing, we can’t go backwards and so the mystery remains.

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