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Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me!

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  • Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me!

    Today iTunes (Or rather those tyrant music labels) had the nerve to raise their song prices. Yesterday, you could buy any song for just $0.99. The song could have been released last week, last year, or even last decade. No matter what, you would pay the same price for all of them.

    As of today, they are selling songs at different prices: $0.69, $0.99, $1.29. Now, that could be fair, but all in all, it's not. For example, let's say I wanted to purchase "London Calling" & "Train In Vain" by The Clash, both from the same exact album. On iTunes, I'd pay a total of $1.68 for those two songs. One of those songs is $0.69 while the other is $0.99. Two songs from the same album are different prices. That's not fair.

    Now, let's say I wanted to purchase "Just Dance" and "The Fame" by Lady GaGa. Released in 2008 on the same album, called "The Fame." For those two songs, I'd pay $2.28. "Just Dance" cost $1.29 while "The Fame" cost $0.99. Again that's not fair.

    I pay different prices for two songs released at the same time and the same price for two songs released like three decades apart... Not fair.

    That was me pretty much ranting, but it leads to a bigger question...

    Piracy. Downloading music, movies, television episodes, etc illegally online. Generally it's frowned upon, but this pricing change made me realize: They say it unfair that we don't pay for their stuff, but they charge us a ridicules amount of money for their products. If I decided to buy Lady GaGa's album "The Fame" (which I do have) I'd pay practically the same price for it at a store as I would from iTunes. That's not fair, is it? I pay the same price, but I don't get the actual CD or the booklet that comes with my purchase from a store. Everyone knows that when we buy a movie or a television boxset or a CD, we're mostly paying for the packaging.

    Is it fair that we have to pay the same price for something, even if it doesn't come with packaging? In all reality, if I bought something from iTune, I would have to put it on my own disk to have a hard copy.

    Honestly, I think these unfair prices are going to do nothing, but cause more piracy. People will find it unfair and just say, "Hey! I can just get it for free!" and download the same product they would from iTune.

    So, what is your opinion on piracy? Should people really be arrested for it? Should music label be more fair with their pricing on digital copies? What about movies, should we have to pay $14.99 for a movie on iTunes and pretty much the same price for it at a store. What about renting movies from iTunes? $3.99 for a movie that you get to keep a day after first starting it? When you could pay the same prices at a movie rental place and get to keep it three day.

    Who's being unfair? Us or them? Or both?

  • #2
    I have no real ethical objection to piracy when it's the only way I can get something - ie when something's out in the US but not the UK. But I am scared of getting a) viruses and b) caught!

    I'm not sure what the best way to protest unfair pricing is. I wish there was some way of making my money go just to the artists and not the suits! I know the suits are necessary, but they need reminding that they're not the most necessary element.


    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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    • #3
      I'm not sure I'd call it "unfair" if a company charges different prices for different songs. It's just a business decision.

      Whether it's a sensible decision is another question, of course. There's no point charging the same or higher price for a digital download as for a physical CD, when you can buy the CD and load it into iTunes anyway. But that's not "unfair", it's just a bad choice.

      As for piracy as a whole; no, I don't agree with it. You don't have the right to take somebody else's stuff just because you think they're charging too high a price for it. On the other hand, as crimes go I think it's pretty low down the scale; certainly less serious than stealing physical property. And like Wolfie, I've got little to no problem with people 'pirating' something that they've already paid for (such as loading the music from a CD you've bought onto your iPod as well) or that the authorities are refusing to sell to you (such as downloading a TV programme that's not been released in your country).

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      • #4
        On the other hand, as crimes go I think it's pretty low down the scale; certainly less serious than stealing physical property.
        Yes, because pirating something doesn't actually deprive anyone else of the enjoyment of the thing - like it might if someone stole your sofa and you had nothing to sit on. Mind you, you could say that in the long term it does deprive people because companies can't produce as much music because they're not making enough money?

        And like Wolfie, I've got little to no problem with people 'pirating' something that they've already paid for (such as loading the music from a CD you've bought onto your iPod as well) or that the authorities are refusing to sell to you (such as downloading a TV programme that's not been released in your country).
        With a show that's not been released in your country, I suppose (she says grudgingly) you could say that you should be patient and wait for it - just as you shouldn't go and steal food from a shop because you can't wait til lunch!

        Mind you, I think the people who pirate in that fashion usually do buy the dvds in the end when they become available - you're usually quite a fan to be that eager If you're doing that, I don't think it's wrong. I just think businesses should sort out the international licensing of TV shows.

        THough that's not relevant to music I suppose....is there a staggering of US and European etc releases?


        -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
          With a show that's not been released in your country, I suppose (she says grudgingly) you could say that you should be patient and wait for it - just as you shouldn't go and steal food from a shop because you can't wait til lunch!
          What amuses me is that the Guardian has printed several articles by their TV critic about Dollhouse... despite the fact that nobody in Britain has any legal way of watching the show yet.

          (Actually that's not strictly true. You could buy a plane ticket to New York every week, watch Dollhouse on the hotel's TV, then fly back the next day. But that's not entirely a practical solution.)

          THough that's not relevant to music I suppose....is there a staggering of US and European etc releases?
          I don't think so, as a general rule. You do sometimes see CDs for sale in special "import" packaging, and occasionally a band's albums on iTunes will be listed with several versions, such as a UK release that includes a couple of live tracks as a bonus. But there's no equivalent of DVD Region Coding for music, so any physical CD can be sold and played anywhere.

          It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to introduce it for downloads, though... different country's iTunes shops sell different content, and it checks your IP address to stop you logging in to another country's shop. Of course there are ways around that, but it seems crazy to even try to stop people giving you their money...

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          • #6
            Piracy is a tricky one. If you want to get something and can obtain a copy through legitimate means you should do so. However, piracy doesn't just mean breaking with this code, it's illegal even if you would or could never have bought a legitimate copy or if you already own the game.

            As a result, despite the companies and the government insisting that "piracy is theft", this isn't, strictly speaking, correct. With theft, something you have lost something that belongs to you. With piracy, this isn't always the case. Unfortunately, it isn't practical to legislate in such a way that piracy would actually be theft.

            One very good argument in favour of piracy isn't so much the prices companies charge for music or software so much as the fact that they are becoming increasingly invasive, domineering and restrictive. Examples would be monitoring the usage of software by implementing copy protection that requires the software be connected to an on-line server in order to run or that restricts the applications and devices that you can use to play music.
            I still wouldn't encourage stealing anything, but if you buy it and then crack the copy protection, I wouldn't consider that to be wrong.

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            • #7
              Moreover the legal description of theft just doesn't fit in this case, and I really don't like the practice of bending the words of the law just to fit in everything. New problems need new legislation.
              But I think most countries have rules detailing the distribution and copying of music and films by now.

              In general, it is more harmless than actual theft in my opinion. However, this does not mean that it is an acceptable practice (and no, I'm not preaching from assumed moral high ground, because I've burned CDs for friends a few times already, which isn't entirely correct either).
              In the case of music, those working for the studios suffer the most damage - producing albums is expensive, and if the costs can't be brought in again because the albums aren't sold but downloaded and distributed illegally instead, it means the end for smaller studios, as well as for not so well-known bands.
              Moreover, there is a thing called intellectual property. Music can't just belong to everybody; this is not fair to composer and performers, to put this concept into simple words.

              So, it's the kind of crime that ranks at the harmless end of the scale, but still it technically is a criminal offence, and for good reason.
              Sin is what I feast upon
              I'm forging my crematorium
              Your tomb is waiting here for you
              Welcome to my ritual

              -Judas Priest, Death

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thomas View Post
                Today iTunes (Or rather those tyrant music labels) had the nerve to raise their song prices. Yesterday, you could buy any song for just $0.99. The song could have been released last week, last year, or even last decade. No matter what, you would pay the same price for all of them.

                As of today, they are selling songs at different prices: $0.69, $0.99, $1.29. Now, that could be fair, but all in all, it's not. For example, let's say I wanted to purchase "London Calling" & "Train In Vain" by The Clash, both from the same exact album. On iTunes, I'd pay a total of $1.68 for those two songs. One of those songs is $0.69 while the other is $0.99. Two songs from the same album are different prices. That's not fair.

                Now, let's say I wanted to purchase "Just Dance" and "The Fame" by Lady GaGa. Released in 2008 on the same album, called "The Fame." For those two songs, I'd pay $2.28. "Just Dance" cost $1.29 while "The Fame" cost $0.99. Again that's not fair.

                I pay different prices for two songs released at the same time and the same price for two songs released like three decades apart... Not fair.

                That was me pretty much ranting, but it leads to a bigger question...

                Piracy. Downloading music, movies, television episodes, etc illegally online. Generally it's frowned upon, but this pricing change made me realize: They say it unfair that we don't pay for their stuff, but they charge us a ridicules amount of money for their products. If I decided to buy Lady GaGa's album "The Fame" (which I do have) I'd pay practically the same price for it at a store as I would from iTunes. That's not fair, is it? I pay the same price, but I don't get the actual CD or the booklet that comes with my purchase from a store. Everyone knows that when we buy a movie or a television boxset or a CD, we're mostly paying for the packaging.

                Is it fair that we have to pay the same price for something, even if it doesn't come with packaging? In all reality, if I bought something from iTune, I would have to put it on my own disk to have a hard copy.

                Honestly, I think these unfair prices are going to do nothing, but cause more piracy. People will find it unfair and just say, "Hey! I can just get it for free!" and download the same product they would from iTune.

                So, what is your opinion on piracy? Should people really be arrested for it? Should music label be more fair with their pricing on digital copies? What about movies, should we have to pay $14.99 for a movie on iTunes and pretty much the same price for it at a store. What about renting movies from iTunes? $3.99 for a movie that you get to keep a day after first starting it? When you could pay the same prices at a movie rental place and get to keep it three day.

                Who's being unfair? Us or them? Or both?
                We aren't taught economics in school the way we're taught any other subject, at least in the U.S., where we usually get a semester during our high school years. It wouldn't do to acquaint upcoming citizens with the readily-discoverable fact that things like pricing are not determined by anything other but what people are willing to pay, despite all the machinery designed to persuade us that these are the arcane decisions of that vast divinity called "The Market", which once was called "Mammon".

                Still, $1.29 is about what a teen in 1979 would've paid for a 45 rpm record -- from that perspective, these prices constitute a steal anyway.
                Entrer dans la lumi?re comme un insecte fou respirer la poussi?re vous venir ? genoux - Patricia Kaas

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Mammon" is not and never was the same thing as "the market". Nor is "the market" an impenetrable inscrutable "divinity". You're right that not enough is taught about economics in the US. If more was, "the market" wouldn't require an invocation of Clarke's law.

                  The fact that pricing is determined by what people are willing to pay is not a secret, it's not arcana, and it's not a conspiracy. It is the point and purpose of a free economy. It's how people can ask for and receive raises on their job -- because they can point to a market value for their services above what they're currently making. It's how the guy that makes a better sandwich can charge more for it.
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                  • #10
                    Piracy is a tricky thing. I do it and I'm sure a lot of people on this site do it to. I do it with Buffy season 8, but then I also by the TPB's when they come out so it's not as if they're loosing my money. I do it with shows like 'Dollhouse' because they haven't aired in Australia yet, but I plan to buy the DVD's. I do it when crappy networks over here stop ‘Supernatural’ half way through a season giving no indication why or even when it’s coming back. I do it when I can’t find a CD I want anywhere because it’s not mainstream or popular enough ect.

                    I mean for a lot of people piracy is sometimes the only option they have to see something they love. If television networks didn't want me to download shows they should actually show them and not mess the fans around. It's their own fault.

                    I never did it for 'Buffy' or 'Angel' because I didn't know how to back when they were on the air. I wish now that I did, it would have been a lot better to see both shows as they aired in the US then months later. It makes it very hard to be apart of forums if you can't talk about episodes or comic issues at the same time everyone else gets to read them.

                    I used to get Itunes Cards but I don't anymore. I agree that you might as well just buy the CD's because it really isn't any cheaper. You can then have the CD and then import it onto your computer and put it onto your IPOD anyway. So you might as well get the CD and the songs on your IPOD, instead of just the songs on your IPOD.
                    Last edited by vampmogs; 10-04-09, 04:59 AM.

                    ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                    • #11
                      Yep, that's why I always buy the CD.
                      Sin is what I feast upon
                      I'm forging my crematorium
                      Your tomb is waiting here for you
                      Welcome to my ritual

                      -Judas Priest, Death

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you like stuff that's not available legally in your country, it's pretty hard to avoid pirating.

                        I tend to think that the media coperations make too much of a fuss about it. Of course they get big $ signs in their eyes when they imagine the money, they'd get if everyone bought everything they downloaded, but who'd do that? Also they don't take into account how much free advertisement they get. After all there are several studies proving that the downloaders are also good paying customers.

                        For example I first saw Firefly as an illegal copy, but I liked so much that I instantly bought the DVDs and after that I bought 7 box sets and movie DVDs over the course of a year as presents for friends. The show never ran over here, if I had not seen the illegal copy, I'd never have come across it and they'd never have seen a cent of my money.

                        If I love something, I'll pay for it gladly, if they let me, (mumbl, mumbl... dr. Horrible DVD mumble) but if there's no other way to get it or if I see one episode and cringe away, I can't bring myself to feel bad for pirating.

                        I'm pretty curious if the swedish pirates are going to make it into the EU parliament this year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                          Piracy is a tricky thing. I do it and I'm sure a lot of people on this site do it to. I do it with Buffy season 8, but then I also by the TPB's when they come out so it's not as if they're loosing my money. I do it with shows like 'Dollhouse' because they haven't aired in Australia yet, but I plan to buy the DVD's. I do it when crappy networks over here stop ?Supernatural' half way through a season giving no indication why or even when it's coming back. I do it when I can't find a CD I want anywhere because it's not mainstream or popular enough ect.

                          I mean for a lot of people piracy is sometimes the only option they have to see something they love. If television networks didn't want me to download shows they should actually show them and not mess the fans around. It's their own fault.

                          I never did it for 'Buffy' or 'Angel' because I didn't know how to back when they were on the air. I wish now that I did, it would have been a lot better to see both shows as they aired in the US then months later. It makes it very hard to be apart of forums if you can't talk about episodes or comic issues at the same time everyone else gets to read them.

                          I used to get Itunes Cards but I don't anymore. I agree that you might as well just buy the CD's because it really isn't any cheaper. You can then have the CD and then import it onto your computer and put it onto your IPOD anyway. So you might as well get the CD and the songs on your IPOD, instead of just the songs on your IPOD.
                          Vampmogs your situation is identical to mine! I'm pretty much the same any thing that I do watch online. I also have every intention to buy as soon as it comes out on DVD or as soon as I can afford it at any rate. Especially since if I don't care about something enough to buy it on DVD then I'm unlikely ot have the patience to watch it online lol
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