[NTLK] SOPA legislation and Us

Forrest Buffenmyer newtonphoenix at mindspring.com
Tue Jan 17 12:23:41 EST 2012

Not wishing to be a person standing alone, shouting in a field...but I can say, for my experience, I have in the past downloaded copies of CDs from Torrent and P2P sites...and, later on, have purchased the same CDs once I had listened to and grown fond of each--or, I had already owned copies, but in another format (vinyl or cassette)...and having no easy way to convert them, wanted them on CD.

Does this make me a bad person? I hope not...I don't think so. Where I lived previously, the local library offered CDs for checkout. There was nothing obstructing me from ripping these to my computer's hard drive, except that I "wasn't supposed" to be doing it. (An overwhelming number of these were also purchased later on as CDs.)

To me, the initial concept of P2P has allowed me to "try before I buy"...that's been the only argument I've ever had for using it. I don't distribute or loan copies. Once I find that I like a particular CD, I want to own it...artwork, liner notes inside, play it on the stereo/CD player, or just the convenience of being able to re-rip a copy on my Mac, should the one I have become corrupted.

I find it interesting that one of the most compelling reasons groups like the RIAA and the MPAA have opposed P2P and BitTorrent sites is simple greed. (I'm not selling short the concepts of protection of intellectual property, as well as artists' right to be compensated for their work...as well as other concerns, some of which are mentioned in Adam C. Engst's excellent posting.) Rather, it's that same kind of greed that might doom the BitTorrent sites...as Engst pointed out, many now force the visitor to pay for a premium service that allows faster downloads. Combine this with the malware often found there and these sites become a far less viable option for the casual downloader.

There's always secondhand...there's any number of pawn shops, secondhand stores and the like that sell used CDs, VHS tapes and DVD/Blu Ray disks for a few dollars each. Here in Arizona we also have a chain of stores that offer used media for sale...the company started out with books, and soon added previously-owned vinyl records, VHS movies, CDs, computer software and finally DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. You bring in what you don't want, they buy it and then resell it. I'm also aware of a least one other chain of stores found throughout the US that offers used media alongside their new unopened selections. (As far as I know, there is no compensation paid to the artists or record labels/media groups for these purchases.)

I realize I am likely alone in my admission that I've downloaded music for my own use...with the intent of giving it a listen, usually to purchase it later on. But I wanted to point out that there are some of us that have engaged in this activity, that aren't music pirates--we don't burn copies on disk and loan them out or resell them.

I fully support the positions and efforts of Mr. Engst and others who have a legitimate right to protect their products...but caution that the wish to sample something freely before one buys is a powerful coercion. Might I suggest to all that you'll win individuals like me over more fully by offering such free samples of your products to us...much in the way that vendors like iTunes and Amazon have done.


Sent from my First Generation iPad

On Jan 17, 2012, at 12:00 AM, Jon Glass <jonglass at usa.net> wrote:

> Thought I'd share a different side of this whole IP mess. This author
> is not in favor of SOPA, but he gives you the perspective of a small
> publisher (TidBits--a Mac-centric newsletter and web site), and
> dealing with illegal free distribution of their eBooks.
> <http://tidbits.com/e/12719>

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