I’m not a big fan of the way big companies approach issues of copyright. Which is to say, fuck those guys! As a creator of original content the principles of copyright are important to me. I’d like to find some way to make money from what I do. I get angry when someone flat out steals my work and makes money from it (which has happened multiple times).
So why don’t I like the actions of the big entertainment companies and their bought-and-paid-for political institutions around the world? Put simply, because their actions are nothing to do with protecting and enriching artists and everything to do with increasing their controls over consumer behaviour for their own enrichment.
Often when I say “fuck copyright” people will say that we need copyright so that artists can make a living. I agree. Sometimes people will go so far as to say some of the insane behaviour in the US like the introduction of the DMCA and the RIAA suing music fans are good things. I’m never sure if these people are naive or if they’re fucking morons.
The big entertainment corporations do not give a shit about the artists who actually make them money. Selling the works produced by creative artists is a massive profit centre for these companies. Giving fair compensation to the artists is a cost centre. These companies are frequently guilty of breaching contracts with artists who make them rich simply because they can get away with it.
I’m not talking about them having some moral responsibility to make artists rich. I’m talking about them being legally responsible. They routinely breach contracts because they’re the ones with the lawyers and the artists are the ones with nothing. They can fuck over an artist, use them up and dump them because there’s always some other poor sucker eager to jump into their place.
And don’t even get me started on the insanity of suing and criminalising customers. Again, this is supposed to benefit artists. So, given the hundreds of millions of dollars these companies have made from lawsuits that fuck over consumers, how much money have artists received? None, apparently. It’s getting to the point where some significant artists are considering suing. If the Rolling fucking Stones can’t catch a break, what chance do you and I have?
The thing that has gotten me pissed off about this all over again is news that Microsoft have decided to fuck over their customers to an extent that is in no way required by law in an attempt to suck up to big media companies. Some of the provisions of the DMCA and other laws proposed around the world are outrageous. But this act of bastardry is not even a requirement, despite the weasel talk coming out of Microsoft.
What sort of moron breaks functionality their customers want for no reason? Especially when there are alternatives available? It’s as if they want to push consumers to free alternatives that aren’t encumbered with this bullshit. Actually, I’d like to think this is all because of some deep cover free software mole buried deep inside Redmond.
“Hahahahaha” the free software mole cackles diabolically. “The fools have put in restrictions that will drive more and more users away from Micro$haft products.” (Free software proponents can’t resist calling Microsoft “Micro$haft”.) “They are sowing the seeds of their own destruction without realising it!”
I would have a lot more respect for a company that was being duped by a double agent than I would for a company that purposely anally raped their customers this way. Sadly, I strongly suspect it’s the latter.
With this in mind, I visited the good folks at Despair.com to produce the following motivational poster
I think that says it all.