Archive for the ‘piracy’ Category

Protecting us all from 10 year old girls.

Can we please just pass some legislation to protect the American people from the burden of antiquainted intellectual property laws? If the vast majority of the American people want to ‘steal’ music and demand that it no longer be a prosecutable offense, then let’s defang the RIAA already.

I’m sure that everyone would just figure out another way to make money off of the business of music. It will sharpen the market if anything. The most successful model for a music label will involve being very localized and dedicated to a few artists’ online promotional and distributional needs. And it would uplift the quality of live performances if that’s where the money shifts to. Live performances put money directly into the hands of local economies. The whole paradigm of marketing and distribution has to change before we will be able to truly harness the full potential of the Internet to re-establish the importance of local economies.

It’s happening now with the music industry, and as you can see it’s not pretty when the dinosaurs of the old media paradigm start to fall. They’ll need to grill a few young girls about their download history before they’ll give up their stranglehold on OUR music.

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The Benefits of Piracy

Hat tip to mrlk for this article entitled Piracy is Good? I highly recommend reading it for an elaboration on how exactly Bit Torrent and other distribution models will end Hollywood’s stranglehold over what goes into the minds of most Americans. This isn’t to diss Hollywood and their high-falutin’ liberal morals, the point is that in the coming media landscape there will be NO centralized location for those who wish to produce entertainment. It can happen anywhere.

But this topic touced upon something much more personal to me than downloading tv shows and movies, namely my entire career and how software piracy allowed me to elevate my economic status and enter the job force with exceptionally marketable skills. You see, my family was lower middle class, mostly due to the fact that daddy drank, and while we were moderately comfortable getting by through out my younger years, there wasn’t shit saved up for college.

Somehow, I managed to get a decent score on my ACT and also pulled off a modest theater scholarship to attend (wait for it) YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERSITY. Yes, YSU Theater, $3,000/year YSU, the stage that brought you the likes of of Ed O’Neill and no one else. So I’m barely squeaking by carrying my school work, working at the mall, getting in the mandatory stage craft hours, and trying to have a little fun. Since money was thin, I spent a lot of time browsing the Internets.

Then one day my buddy showed me that I could make my own web page with an AOL account. The part that jazzed me out was the fact that I could figure out HTML just by going around to any site and viewing the source. This of course was probably my introduction to the idea of “open source”, though I wouldn’t hear about the term until years later. Anyways, so I learn HTML and before long I get my hands on a pirated copy of Photoshop and figured out how to make shiny glowing buttons.

Luckily all of my design work from the early days has been expunged. But it was good enough to land me a job doing HTML coding part time for a local ISP/web design firm. It wasn’t long before I had to deal with the fact that I was a failing student. Half-way into my sophomore year and I barely had a 1.9 GPA, and I certainly had no delusions about how far a degree from You Suck University would take me in the world, and a theater degree at that. So I dropped out and went full time with the HTML thing and never looked back.

I don’t know if I’ve opened my self up to litigation or not, but there’s no proof that I’m not lying so fuck em. But the only way I’ve been able to grow into a successful interactive designer is through the use of pirated software. The money I spent on college was wasted. If I’d have had no access to the tools that elevated my career, I’d probably still be living in Youngstown wishing I’d had a life half as interesting as Ted Bundy in Married with Children.

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