Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
I've been thinking about this, as you know. Let's take another tack on it: music, video and other content vendors won't sell their wares online (they say) until mechanisms are in place to prevent unauthorized copying (I refuse to call it "piracy" - attacking a vessel with armed force is "piracy" and it is disingenuous of publishers to compare the simple act of copying with this violent act). And thinking about it, I have to ask: do we want these wares so badly? Is it worth the price? What would we get? We would pay monopolistic prices, get content we can't even use outside a strict set of restrictions, and for this we must tolerate intrusive encryption and monitoring software on our computers. Why are we even comtemplating such a regime (much less considering legislation that would force all computer manufacturers to comply with it)? Here's a better idea: make it cheaper and easier to buy online content than it is to steal it. Oh - but then I guess you wouldn't have monopolistic pricing and spyware, would you?

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2021 05:50 a.m.