Monday, February 14, 2011

How Adults Think About Copyright

Above is a link to Neil Gaiman showing how easy it is for adults to think about posting things on the Internet, not as stealing, but as lending.
He points out that the people who are going to buy your books (music, art, etc.) are going to buy your stuff.  The people who see (hear, etc.) your stuff on the Internet are being lent that material to see if they like it or not.  The people who like it, will then buy it and other stuff from the same author (artist, etc.).
He points out that most people who have a favorite author (artist, musician, etc) did not first learn to like that person's stuff because they walked into a store and purchased it.  They were loaned a copy by a trusted friend who said, this is one of my favorites--I think you will like it.  Then they started buying that artist's stuff.
That is the function the Internet is serving today.  We are given the opportunity to borrow content to see if we like it or not.  If we like it, we are much more likely to buy it.
Reading, listening, seeing stuff on the Internet is not stealing.  It is borrowing.
It is finding potential future favorite artists whose stuff we will then be proud to purchase and own.
It is not stealing.  It is advertising.

Unfortunately, most corporations do not view the Internet this way.
They are taking the unsupported and immature view that reading, listening, and seeing stuff on the Internet is somehow robbing them of sales.  A hypothesis they have never been able to prove, by the way.  A hypothesis that artists like Neil Gaiman, Phish, and most comic book producers have proven to be wrong.  The more material these artists post online, the more material they sell.  And the more other people post their materials online, the more the artists sell.

Thanks to for the repost.

1 comment:

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