There is this vision of the future that the content providers see, and it is one with huge bags of money all over the place. They are only waiting for the technology to come that can enable their vision to become reality.
No, I’m not talking about protecting their copyrights with filters and low tech crap like that. They are secretly planning the end to what they have been working on for years: comprehensive protection of their copyrights! Yes, they finally get their way. You only get to listen to a song once, or see a TV show once, or a movie once, and then you have to pay to see it again, PERIOD.
Nonsense you say. Let’s peer into the future 50 or 100 years from now. Thanks to giant leaps in investment towards the biotech industries, we have unraveled the human brain. We can fix many problems, increase lifespans, and generally lead better lives. We can also tap into our memories! Now be careful, the RIAA and MPAA really salivate over your memories. After all, they are illegal copies of their content. Sure, they many not be perfect, but remembering that Friends episode probably doesn’t make you want to watch it again. Memory is the enemy! The entertainment industry wants you to need to watch shows again, they want you to buy the dvds, buy the cds. How can they accomplish this in the future?
Bob walks into the newest movie in 2075, Future Movie V : It Sucks, but All the Other Ideas Were Taken, and pays his $500 (inflation). He mortgages his house and then proceeds to buy a bag of popcorn ($1,000). He watches the movie. He liked it better than Future Movie IV: Real Footage of Filesharers Getting Lethal Injections but he probably doesn’t want to see the DVD. Unfortunately for Bob, in the future the studios retain full control of their copyrights (for 1,000 years if we follow the current extension trend). Bob steps through the DFWBB (Don’t Fuck With Big Business) machine which immediately erases his memory of the last 2.2 hours of movie watching.
Bob looks back and remembers that movie he wanted to see, Future Movie V, and is sure he had enjoyment watching it, but he will have to buy the DVD now (or see the movie again!). Bob 0, Movie Industry $192,843,847,383 (and growing). You say it won’t happen, I say we are approaching 1982 type stuff here. Follow the logic of the studios to it’s end and they want this kind of control.
So when I am sued for downloading my personal copy of the newest Lost, which is available for “free” over the airwaves, because my HDTV tuner on my computer has a “flag” that prevents me from copying anything worth copying, then I can smile and figure I was among the first to say I told you so.