Do They Really Want To Stop Piracy?

It sure won’t happen while the quality of materials used stays the same.

About a week ago i popped my copy of Avatar in my laptop DVD player.  It didn’t work, and since it was dark i just went with something else to do (played pool on Pogo) rather than pull out the DVD and clean it.

This morning i got tired of my DVD/ROM trying, with fail, to read the DVD.  So i popped the tray open to give it a cleaning.  I found it to be immaculate.  Not a single mark of any kind on the disc surface.  Then i saw it:  the layers of the disk were separating in the middle of the disk, where it doesn’t even read.

This isn’t my first foray into this issue, to be honest.  I have a stack of XBox games with a similar issue.  They are cracks that happen when the disc is removed from the case.  My GTA IV, Tony Hawk Project 8, Smackdown vs Raw 2008 and 2009 (both), and COD: Black Ops (brand new, broke in the first month) all are useless to me now.  At $60 apiece, it is not a cheap deal either.

I remember how angry it used to make me when I would try to pop in Super Mario for the original NES, only to find that it wouldn’t play.  I would think, “Jeez, we can put a man on the moon, but cannot design a game system that lasts more than a year?”  I would then blow on the cartridge, then in the NES, and hope for the best.  Eventually, if patient, it would work….but it sucked.  On an interesting side note, back in 1988 games were still about $50.  Very little in the way of inflation of game titles since then.

But it seems that relying on child gamers to scratch a game disk just doesn’t work well enough to ensure additional supply. Nope.  Instead, the cases are now seemingly designed to make it almost impossible to remove the disc without cracking the middle ring.  Because of this, i suppose I would pull out one of those old vinyl CD cases that we all used to have in our car, and start keeping all discs in it.

In any event, it would seem that if you were trying to keep people from downloading a product for free (piracy), you would produce a higher quality product upon purchase.  Value adds, etc.  Instead, what we get is brute force arm twisting, using Uncle Sam as the heavy.

I have no illusions of believing that any government would ever support the idea of “freedom of information”.  Regardless of how it can be extrapolated directly from the intent of our founding fathers.  With how much our governments lie to us, freedom of information is the LAST thing they want.

It would seem that if you don’t at least copy your digital media upon purchase, you risk losing the investment made in its purchase.  In the near future, I would honestly not be surprised to see media companies move from the concept of “owning” a license for a title, to “leasing” a license for a title.  We are seeing this trend in book publishers and the electronic versions of their books.  Things like putting in an expiration counter, so that after a title is used maybe 25 times, the license must then be renewed (repurchased) from the publisher.    Of course, this is causing quite a stir among the library community, who usually tends to run on a shoestring budget paid by the good graces of the taxpayer and private donations.

And when you talk  about bringing down the concept of the freedom of information, and its attached notions of alleviating the ignorance of mankind, this is the golden fleece (pun intended).    A major feature of the American past is the idea of self teaching via our rich library system.  Who could forget the iconic image of Abe Lincoln pulling himself up by his bootstraps at a public library?

Media, a once critical part of American infrastructure for its informative and entertainment properties, has decayed into what seems to be a money grubbing and shady underbelly responsible for the demise of the American Republic through information hording and a cheap usury applied to materials already purchased and owned.

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