You won’t be creative if you protect it, stupid!

5 05 2009

My Colleague Max Billings drew my attention to an article by Laura Tunberg recently. While I’ve already made my views clear on this matter in a previous blog post, I have a few things to add here in response to Laura’s article and I’m going to do it MBA style.

1. Paul McCartney talks about how at the end of the day, Piracy is preventing the average musician from earning a decent living. hmm…

Lets do some basic calculations here: An artist on an average receives 1$ per CD sale. Now if an artist manages to sell 100,000 CD’s (mind you, this is a big number for a small artist), he/she receives $100,000 – while the Record Label gets about $700,000. Now take into account the money spent on promoting the artist (which a Record Label conveniently deducts from an artist’s earnings)…how much is our artist really left with.

In our example, if the Record label spent $150,000 in promotions/marketing, then the Artist actually ends up owing the label $50,000! really…Mr. McCartney, in what way does this arrangement seem fair to you?

2. Ms. Tunberg, let me remind you that some of the best examples of creativity and innovation in our society have come about thanks to the culture of piracy and remix…

a) The birth of RADIO !! – legalized and commercialized after pirate AM broadcasting stations gained so much momentum and popularity that a new medium of communication was born. 

b) The modern computer as we know it – Developed thanks to the remixing work of a club called the Homebrew computer club! (no points for guessing who some of its members were)

c) “Rip, Mix and Burn” – the iPod!!! (look at the picture below…does it look familiar?)











d) anti-HIV drugs in the developing world that cost a dollar a day as opposed to $27 / day (when produced by American pharmaceutical companies)

e) Hip-hop music, Reggae, the internet, the web 2.0 sphere…the list goes on.

3. Finally, Ms. Tunberg, let me also remind you that the United States at the end of the day is a country built and industrialized through borrowed/copied knowledge.  How do you think the term “Yankee” came into being?

Its time to stop fighting piracy…and to start competing with it! It is after all, yet another business model.

I rest my case.




One response

6 05 2009
Christina Angeloni

Just blogged on the collective invention of open source and linked to a paper (pdf written in 2003) which explores the growth and demise of the “Homebrew” group. I read your Tweet and followed to your blog. It is a small world my friend.

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