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sudo apt-get purge physics ancients (Also Piracy)

06 November 201004:15AMlife

Physics? What's that? Ancient what now?

It still hasn't quite sunk in that I never have to do these subjects again though. I mean, I still have all the books and things, and despite the title, I haven't instantly had all knowledge of physics and ancient history scrubbed from my mind. I guess they'll just slowly deteriorate over time and I'll end up the way everyone over the age of about 20 is- looking vaguely at a physics formula and thinking, "I used to be able to do that...". On the other hand, I like physics, if not as a profession then certainly as an interest. Maybe if I subscribe to enough science magazines, I won't forget? As for ancients... ancients is just too cool to forget.

Okay, segue time. Or not. First on my list of mental things to write about is copyright law. Yeah, pretty heavy stuff. There was an ad on TV last night from the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation claiming that one in three Australians is an 'accidental pirate', which is an ambiguous term if ever there was one. WHOOPS I TRIPPED AND TORRENTED A MOVIE BY ACCIDENT OH WELL. Further examination of their site reveals that by 'accidental pirate' they mean 'person who downloads things but doesn't realise it's illegal', which makes a bit more sense, but not much. The site postulates that this 34% will be most susceptible to guilt-tripping into paying for their media instead, hence the TV campaign. I had a poke through their propagandistic teaching materials too, with loaded focus questions like 'Would you like to live in a country where creativity was recognised?'. It got me thinking (which I guess was the point) about some things, in a train of thought which went something like this:

  1. FACT: Media is not cheap to produce. 2. BELIEF: Artists should be paid for their work, on top of covering costs 3. BUT: People do not like paying for things and thus copyright infringement happens. 4. Nevertheless, people should pay for media things, at the very least for services rendered. 5. GOTO 3 (whoops, infinite loop.) 6. The fact remains that while people should pay for things, they're not going to if they can get it for free unless they have a) a strong moral compass; or b) don't know how to get it for free and find iTunes style one-click buy easier. 7. QUERY: How can you keep making movies and TV in this environment? 8. CONCLUSION: You can't. And yet they still do? So either a) Copyright infringement has negligible impact on movie tickets, DVD sales, and sales to TV networks (traditional revenue streams), and thus the industry is lying and/or being greedy and/or stupid (this is the default argument of teh hardkore piratez, which I don't buy into for one second) or b) It has significant impact but they keep making things anyway because it's still profitable, and in the mean time they can search for a solution which will either a) shut down piracy through lawsuits etc. (never going to happen) or b) evolve some new way of making money from their product which cannot be duplicated by piracy (this is clearly the motivation behind 3D movies).

That turned into a braindump. I think the point I was trying to make was that Things Are Complicated, and a TV ad campaign to target 'accidental pirates' is going to make very little difference in the grand scheme of things. To quote my favourite quote from Jurassic Park, "The world is moving so fast, and we're just trying to keep up." (There's probably a whole essay to be written on the use of technology advancing faster than morals in SF, but not here.)

I think I should stop here. I had some other things to write about but I think they need their own post after that monstrous rant.

And I have a maths exam to study for. Huzzah.

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