Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Pay For Content

They Don't Deserve Your Money
Content providers do not trust you. They bully you into complying with a narrow view of acceptable use, shackling you to the glacial pace of policy-making.

They do not offer any of the confidence, security, or assurance that you have come to expect in return for your money.

Their are $60 devices that store 6,000 songs. At $1 per song, this $60 device can store $6,000 of content. It is easily stolen or lost and the songs can be deactivated at any time, for any reason.

This is like paying $6,000 for a highly-delicate, non-refundable, non-replaceable $6,000 "money card" that you are supposed to carry around everywhere and hope you don't drop it, damage it, or forget it. And oh yeah, the balance can be decreased arbitrarily without notice.

Sounds stupid, right?

It is, and that's the best deal they offer. You'll probably pony up for the same thing multiple times. Sounds like a sweetheart deal for them, doesn't it? That's right, say it with me:

They Are Scamming You

They want you to pay for a restricted license to play a downloaded file that can be remotely deleted at any time. Then, if you lose it and want another copy, they will act like they have no record that you already paid them for it; as if an accounting system is some technically insurmountable pipe dream. That's stupid, they already have every purchase on file and have probably already sold your data ten times over.

Really, they are lying to you and are just looking for an excuse to charge you money.

You should not be doing business with someone like that, who fundamentally mistrusts you and is not willing to give you control of what you pay for. So because the content provider no longer trusts you, you must no longer trust them.

The Old Way
This wasn't always this case. 15 years ago, if you purchased an audio CD, you were permitted the following:
  1. The right to duplicate and convert.
    You could copy the CD onto a cassette or CD-R for personal use and archiving.

  2. The right to device agnosticism.
    That CD would work in your car, handheld player, boombox, and home stereo system. They were not keyed to a class of system and were fundamentally generic.

  3. The ad-free right.
    As a quid-pro-quo for your money, you could enjoy the CD without arbitrary advertisements.

  4. The right of merchantability.
    If you mailed in a damaged CD in case, many record labels would send you a new copy for a nominal fee, ensuring you that you wouldn't have to double-pay to re-access what you already purchased.

  5. The right of satisfaction.
    Many music stores permitted you to listen to the entire CD in the store prior to purchase or even return it if you simply didn't enjoy it.
You Get Nothing For Your Money
In the digital age, all of these rights will ideally (in the eyes of the provider), be removed; because there is a fundamental culture of distrust.

Fortunately, there is still one mechanism that guarantees you such rights.

Piracy Is The Answer
Piracy gives you the consumer confidence you have become accustomed to in the 90s that the content provider refuses to offer in the internet age:
  1. You can backup the content freely in the way of your choosing.
  2. You can enjoy the content on future technology or any existing one.
  3. The content is pure and functional. It comes without restrictions or advertising.
  4. The content is readily replaceable.
  5. If you are not satisfied, you can revoke ownership of it without any fear of an unrecoverable monetary loss.
Until the content providers give you the same guarantees in the digital age that they gave in the physical one, they will not be offering a product worthy of your time or money so there is no reason to give them any of it.

So, for a product you can trust in, become a Pirate today.


  1. One could also consider that if public libraries did not exist and the idea of a public library were brought up for implementation in today's world it would seen as anti-American, and perhaps be made illegal by persons who head organizations that serve themselves rather than the common good.

  2. Can't you still buy CDs? If so, why not just buy CDs and rip them yourself? Also, are you talking about iTunes specifically? Because I believe all music on Amazon has no DRM. I had heard Apple has done away with DRM for a lot of their titles, too. And even with DRM, isn't it allowed on 5 devices, which offers pretty good backup? And now don't you have the option for iCloud storage of your purchases, which doesn't require you to do your own backups?