We live in an era of unprecedented information and knowledge. Most of it is pure bulk and much of it wrong. For example, the common thread in mainstream media is that the Mac has only around 2-percent market share.
Lies, damned lies, statistics. What market share? New computers sold this year? All computers sold? Ever? Computers still in use? Of course, the definition is a fact often overlooked as the world is flooded with disposable PCs by the gazillions each year.
Macs? When was the last time you saw one sitting on the side of the street waiting for city refuse pickup? No, in the US, the Mac has a larger pecentage of “market share” than pundits and analysts tell you because PCs are disposable boxes, and Macs, well, they become friends and family and we keep them around.
iTunes, Music, iPods, Piracy and Media Idiots.
Writer Andrew Kantor has a piece in USA Today that fans flames, misinforms, and yet remains typical of the mainstream media’s approach to all things Mac (and iPod, and iTunes, et al).
The title of the article is “Hard to lower pirate flag while legal alternatives still lacking.” I’m convinced that Kantor wrote this piece because he didn’t want to wash his car today.
USA Today, like Reader’s Digest, is ready by millions in the US and throughout the world. It’s America’s newspaper, right?
No wonder much of the rest of the world hates America. Like USA Today, we may appear to be full of c_r_a_p.
Kantor’s article talks about iTunes Music Store’s “restrictions” as if there’s something inherently wrong with restrictions on music purchases. Guess what? There’s restrictions on the CDs you buy at Tower Records or Wal-Mart.
He also rails on the recent topic of “DVD Jon” and his attempts to circumvent iTunes “Digital Rights Management” efforts. DVD Jon (so named because he cracked the DVD no-copy scheme) created his own program for Linux users to use iTunes Music Store. iTunes is Mac and Windows. No Linux.
What everyone found out from DVD Jon’s efforts is that iTunes Music Store sells music, lets you download music with no “restrictions.” The DRM restrictions are placed on the songs by the iTunes application.
So the Linux folks, DVD Jon, and other “pirates” using his program get to register and buy music at iTMS get their music without the “restrictions.”
Oh, you didn’t know about the “restrictions” on the music you buy from iTunes Music Store? Well, to hear about it from USA Today, you’d think it was Satan running the store, and taking parts of your soul as you buy music from iTMS.
Apple has the most successful of all the online download music stores with nearly 70-percent of the whole market worldwide.
What does USA Today (and Kantor) say about that?
“By adding restrictions to music, Apple is going against decades of an understanding between music makers and music buyers.”
The implication is that “restrictions” are something new to music buyers. Of course, if you buy any CD from any artist, there are still restrictions. For example, you can’t copy it and give the copy to someone else. Or sell the copy to someone else. See? Restrictions.
iTunes Music Store lets you play your iTMS downloaded music on up to five Macs or PCs. Or an unlimited number of iPods. Or, you can burn the music onto an unlimited number of CDs.
Oooooooh. Terrible restrictions, eh?
Kantor’s example (straight from USA Today): “Imagine buying a music CD at the mall, bringing it home, and playing it on your stereo. Then you play it on your car’s CD player driving to work. But when you get there and pop it into the little player on your desk, you hear a voice say, “We’re sorry, but you are only authorized to play this disk on up to two CD players. You have now exceeded that. Thank you.”“
Bad example. It’s not that way.
Then, to make his “journalism” even worse, Kantor says, “And people wonder why music piracy is so rampant.”
Hello? Guess what? Piracy was much more rampant BEFORE the iTunes Music Store, iPod, and iTunes phenomenon that’s sweeping the civilized world. Apple’s so-called “restrictions” did NOT cause piracy.
Wait. There’s more.
Check the conclusion on Page 2. Click Here for more.
Continued from Page 1…
Worse, Apple’s iTunes is mentioned in the same line (as in “equivalent”) to the once-illegal pirate, Napster. iTMS is pushing 350-million “legal” downloads at 99-cents each. How many songs has Napster sold? They won’t tell you which tells me something.
Wait. There’s still more.
Kantor has a friend who has an opinion on all this.
““If there were any such service where you could download a song for a buck and do what you want with it, I’d pay for that in a second,” said a friend of mine. But the idea of paying for something and then having to keep track of how and where you use it is too annoying — especially when Grokster beckons from the sidelines.”
Is the implication there that one of Kantor’s friends is a pirate? A thief? On the radar of the Record Industry Association of America’s legel eagles? Could be.
By implication, Kantor is railing against the “restrictions” inherent in iTunes Music Store while ignoring the “restrictions” already in CDs from Tower Records or Wal-Mart.
Rightly (in a temporary fit of logical thinking), Kantor says, “It’s true that when you buy a CD you don’t own the music — you own the disk and the right to play that music. No argument.”
Hmmm. Sounds like the SAME rights you get with music from the iTunes Music Store. You can buy a song from iTMS. You can play it on your Mac or Windows PC. You can play it on your iPod. You can burn a CD and play it in your car, in a portable CD music player, take it to your grandma and let her play it on her Victrola (or, whatever those things with needles were).
Where’s the restrictions?
With his point NOT being made, Kantor switches gears in mid-stream (to mix a couple of metaphors) and rails against the RIAA’s “empty-headed, heavy-handed approach to business.” Then, he chomps on Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.
Hatch is the clueless government official who said someone should remotely destroy computers of people “suspected” of pirating music.
Whoa. I promise not to touch that one. Talk about opening Pandora’s box of worms.
Our USA Today article goes on to sum up everything but the ridiculous “restrictions” which started the rant in the first place. Everything else? Yes.
He says you can expect more restrictions, not less. Such restrictions are a “continued erosion of copyright at the expense of listeners and viewers, thanks to Congress.”
What? There’s more?
“The result won’t be less piracy, it will be more.”
Oh, so this whole thing is about “restrictions” cause music piracy? OK. I get it now. Silly me. All this time I thought that piracy was caused by human nature.
Let’s see. Spend $15 for a CD at Wal-Mart, or, steal the music from a P2P network for free! Easy choice.
Why is that an easy choice for some, perhaps many? Why don’t we steal cars the way some steal music? If you’re caught stealing cars you could go to jail, get ostracized socially, and the economic penalty is stiff.
Music? Who’s the wiser? There’s no penalty (guilty conscience not withstanding) is there? Who got hurt? No one even has to know, right?
See? Human nature. It’s not the music industry. It’s not the technology. It’s not the Senator from Utah. It’s not the RIAA that’s causing the problem, though it’s being perpetuated by mass media writers who don’t want to wash their cars on Fridays.
Human nature allows people to steal music. iTunes Music Store allows the rest of us a way to purchase music legally, use it however we want (with acceptable restrictions), and continue to enjoy said music on our iPods, portable music players, CD players, or in the car.
If iTMS were around before Napster’s illegal ways showed millions how to steal music, would this be a problem? Probably not as much because there wouldn’t be so many addicted to stealing music via P2P networks.
I’m no longer addicted. I’m clean. I’m proud of it.
I’m no longer addicted to getting all my “news and commentary” from USA Today. In fact, a Mac360 weekly award for Jackasses in Media would be worthy.