So why is the entertainment business losing so much money to downloading? Is it because it is free or because they have trained so many to think of the legit way of buying stuff to be a pain in the ass? Tonight I made a reference to the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It is one of my all time favorite movies. It was the first movie I bought on VHS in the late 80's. So it doesn't take much to get me in the mood for the flick. I think I annoy my wife by how often I am unable to resist the urge to speak the lines with the characters (yeah, I know. It's a horrid habit and I should be ashamed).
So I go to start looking for the movie. Knowing that I do not own the movie on physical DVD, I started surfing through my Roku player. First I went to Netflix to see if it was streaming. Nope. No sign of it there. So then I go to Hulu. Well, can anyone ever find anything on the god awe full menu Hulu has on their interface for devices like the Roku? So I don't think it is there either. So then I go to my default for movies that have a hard time getting fair licensing deals, Amazon Prime. In case you have not ever used this service, it is awesome. It is a little more expensive than say a Netflix because it is a la carte, but there is a good side of that. You can "buy" the movie and it remains in your library for future viewing. So since I watch a ton of movies while working on the computer, I love not having to get up to hunt for a physical disc. I just click a few buttons on the remote and the movie is playing. It is pure awesome! After hunting for awhile I discover that the movie is available for "rent", but not for purchase to my library. At $3 a pop I would have paid the purchase price ten times over in just a couple years (it's a sickness I know). So there is no way I am doing that.
So after spending a good chunk of time hunting for a way to legally stream this movie favorite of mine, I give up. Then I remember that I saw the movie on YouTube a few years ago when I was stuck somewhere with nothing to do for several hours. I watched the movie on my phone through the YouTube app. So I go to YouTube on my desktop computer and not only is it still there in 9 minute parts, but there is a version that is the entire movie all in one file! So I was able to get my fix. I didn't even need to mess with the pain in the ass that is bit torrent. The movie was just as grand as I remember it. I loved every bit of it and didn't feel a bit guilty about not paying for the viewing. Why? Because I went to the three biggest outlets for streaming and they wouldn't take my money!
When Napster first came out did you know that they tried very hard to make deals with the music industry for a pay model? This model would have paid the labels even more than the first deals they made with iTunes? Then the industry made it so that if you bought a disc it would give your computer a Trojan worm (Sony). Then when you could buy music online they gave it all kinds of DRM (Digital Rights Management) that would only allow you to play the song you purchased on one specific device. This was at the same time that the music pirates would let you download a straight up MP3 that would play perfectly fine on all your devices. So the free version was the better product. So they then spent well over a decade training the youth that the stolen version was more versatile. When you make the stolen version piss you off less, it is not the price that makes people steal. It is because your product sucks!
Now things have improved massively from when the internet first became mainstream. I now hate to bit torrent because it is a pain in the ass compared to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But there are still reminders that the people behind the suits are losing money because they don't get it. Stop working so hard to get people to stop stealing and work harder to make sure your product is better than what the pirates offer. Ask Louie C.K. It can work really well when you're not a total moron.
Now next time would you please just take my damn money‽