All claim to be responding to the threat of piracy to our entertainment industry: however, 2 of the 3 imposed bills (not sure about CISPA's implications fully.) Would have resulted in potentially harming a lot of social media outlets such as youtube.
As we all know, piracy has been an issue for 20+ years: Movies have dealt with hard copy bootlegs floating around cities, Music has dealt with the 'tape recorder' and even before streaming became so common place... people were still burning CDs for their friends.
By some miracle, these two industries survived the years, but why has it become a bigger concern than ever in recent years for them? 2 things have changed in a major way since then: One being that streaming such materials has become easier, the other is the uprising of media by the common people: Youtube and various other websites. Talented people getting recognition without the approval of TV and spreading by word of mouth, online and off.
Let's look at the case for piracy: Everyday people are in fact getting what should be paid for, for free: but truthfully; how many are doing so? More importantly; how many of these people would have actually bought these products if the online source was not available? How many of these pirates actually had the money to spend to improve the said companies' bottom line? How many of them still, possibly have a local friend with a hard copy of their desired music/movie they could simply burn/rip a copy from anyway to avoid buying after all?
Now, my point is NOT that it should be okay for people to pirate: my point is... is the online stream factor TRULY responsible for any drop in revenue SO extreme that it JUSTIFIES bills that threaten the very freedom of speech that the people of America pride themselves on? Let's focus on those with the financial capability and desire to afford the products who pirate solely because the option is there.
What are the deterrents from piracy? Now, the biggest is the risk of mistakenly downloading a virus usually. Movies, you run the risk of wasting your time with a horrible quality bootleg, even online.
With games: you risk wasting your time with a bad crack: Enjoy your pokemon not getting exp ever. Now, most of these anti piracy measures can be beat: it just takes time... time the pirate is stuck waiting and falling behind waiting for AND trying to find while legit buyers get to have fun with right away. I actually like clever anti piracy methods such as these, that don't just stop a pirate from playing a game, but go as far as to WASTE their time before they're even fully realized to be playing a bad copy. Earthbound erased the players game at the VERY END. Batman: Arkham Asylum intentionally broke the glide mechanic if piracy was detected. Its a good practice, making the hunt for a good pirated copy, combined with the risk of virus, a huge waste of time can make a difference for those who can afford them and avoid the headache. It should be continued.
With the risk of bad quality and viruses in mind for pirates: lets look at the convenience factor. Something i thought about from reading Valve's well known Statements.
Steam offers a wide range of great games at low prices, and being fully digital minimizes costs for even better profitability. Netflix offers the same for movies. And for those who don't have such great connections... Redbox exists... both of which, might I add... really demolished store chains such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. If piracy really was such a huge threat... then one would assume that Blockbuster would have fallen maybe a few years sooner, when piracy became commonplace online. However, it took until 2010 for Blockbuster to finally declare bankruptcy. 3 years after Redbox had expanded and years after Netflix turned to streaming as well. The fact that blockbuster lasted so long until these two companies rose up seems to support the arguement of convenience over piracy harming existing industries.
In the music industry, we have itunes servicing songs all over. Convenience is powerful; not just to 'get what you want' quicker, but to pay for as much or as little as you need.
So we have a bit of evidence, 4 successful companies thriving by catering to convenience even in the face of piracy: So tell me... what else could be hurting the pockets of big media business?
Let's look at alternative Entertainment.
Let's be forward, people only have so much free time. you can make as much money as you can in life, but no matter what: you only have 24 hours.
Newgrounds series, Cracked articles, Homestuck and other webcomics, Youtube musicians, comedic series, animators, and many more: with access to so much online... how much time do you take out for those big names: let alone watching TV to benefit the Nielsen ratings? Movies? Music? Games?
Why worry about not being able to see X movie or playing Y game when so many great experiences are more easily accessed online? Newgrounds alone is a treasure trove: has tons of good games available to play, videos to watch and even musical talent. Deviantart can lead you to some amazing stuff. Why watch bob ross when Youtube has speedpaintings of sooo many talented people and lots more variety?
There seems to be little credit for how big of a slice we really take from the industry with our social media. Whether we notice or not, when we're bored these days... we're less likely to dig up some change for a movie to watch when there's such a huge variety of content right at our disposal. Perhaps everyone online has taken that from the bigger entertainment industry: I alone, when i visit certain relatives... when I was younger, we usually did find a good movie worth watching ... but now. I realized my visits have more become a challenge to see who's found better stuff to show the others online.
Has your habits changed in the last 5 years or so? Does Facebook keep you faced away from the TV? Could alternatives... competition... to big name entertainment actually have done more damage to the bottom line than even piracy?
I was kinda long winded. but here's my question. in a nutshell... are you not listening to
Because of this?