Reflection by MICHAEL P.
Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:
We are the nearing the end of the age of physical media.
With downloadable music, movies, and pretty much anything else you could possibly want. Why go out and buy a physical cd when you can just download the album in 30 seconds? You can choose from millions of songs, tv shows, movies, anything. Soon, I think digital downloads will destroy the market for physical media. With downloads, you don’t need a special device to use it, it can’t get scratched, you can’t lose it, you don’t have to go out to buy it. I think that tv and movies on services like iTunes and Hulu could eventually hurt the tv and movie industry as well. No longer do you have to watch tv in your living room, watch movies in the theater, or buy music at a record store. It is all at your fingertips with digital media.
Do record labels and established artists really need the money? On one hand you are basically killing the record industry, and taking money from the artists and bands themselves. But, at the same time, they already make tons of money, I don’t think they’ll really be hurting too badly if they lose $10 from your album download.
On the other hand, alot of artists who aren’t really very mainstream and haven’t “made it” really need the money from every sale. And it isn’t limited to music. This applies to movies, games, and pretty much any other digital media you can think of. But sometimes I think it is too much for a band, artist, or the RIAA to go and sue someone just becuase they downloaded a couple songs. For example, in 2000, Metallica sued Napster for allowing users to use file sharing to avoid paying for their music, and even admitted to trying to put Napster out of business just for a relatively small amount of money compared to what they make. I think the reason they sue someone for downloading just a few songs is to make an example out of them to discourage everyone else from doing it too. Also, I think it is because the market for physical copies of media is dying.
As David Pogue said in his song, record sales are decreasing every year. But in the end, you can’t stop piracy. There are too many ways to get your hands on pirated versions of media, and no matter how many people the RIAA or anyone else sues, there will still be millions of people out there who won’t think twice about downloading a song or movie. They can’t sue everyone.