Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
Subject:   Piracy
Date:   2003-01-20 10:52:12
From:   conureman
Response to: Piracy

An interesting point on a complex subject. Some years ago I worked in a television repair shop. I often recieved phone calls that would have to be classified as "time wasters". Much time was spent explaining (and justifying) our basic minimum charges for diagnosis, and I also found myself listing possible diagnoses as per symptoms described over the phone. Aside from the lost time and occasional free repair- "Is the (dead) set plugged in?". I feel that the goodwill generated was a positive component of our business, and that very often it was the deciding factor on customer's decisions as to whom they would trust their repairs to. My point is that I saw overwhelming evidence that the majority of the time-wasters would never have been cash customers anyway, or that my free phone help was by far the cheapest way of getting rid of them. I readily referred the cost shoppers to my competitors, and let them have that segment of the market. We also had a rather unconditional Guarantee, which could be taken advantage of by the unscruplous, or extremely ignorant, for free service and repair. While I have noticed that morals seem to have declined recently here in the People's Republic of California, one of the cornerstones of our society is the actual fact that the majority of people will in fact try to do the right thing if it is not too unreasonable for their flexible morality to bear, as the warez guyz always claim- "If (insert name of popular Redmond WA company here) software was reasonably priced and bug-free (and standards-based?), then I'd be willing to pay for it." Personally, I'd just write those guyz off and stop losing sleep over their "business". While I don't expect to convince anybody that this is the way to do business, the public should protect itself from further harm by the Greedmeisters and Protectionist Weenies busy restricting and outlawing Common Law and Basic Human Rights. This is fundamentally more important than maximizing the profit margins of a few. Any how I agree with Tim's logic, that in fact the old laws were perfectly adequate for protection of property rights, and the new ones are stifling creativity and innovation as well as reducing actual revenues. Mutiny on the Ship Of Fools, anyone?