Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What does it mean to "own" a song? or a movie?

Reading this article on CNN reminded me of one of the big imponderables of this whole business.  What does it mean to "own" a song or a movie or a book?  Apparently the kids today are not so interested in owning, but simply streaming from various services.

When movies come out on DVD, you always see the commercials on tv exhorting you to "OWN IT TODAY!".  But clearly, if you buy the DVD and rip it and share it on the Pirate Bay, well, that is not okay, you are a criminal.  But I thought "ownership" meant you could do what you want with it?

So apparently there are implied contracts when you buy a DVD or a movie or a song.  Never mind that I didn't sign one.

Whatever.  What does it mean to "own" an mp3?

What does it mean to own anything?  After all, there are no laws of physics which describe ownership.  It is entirely a man-made concept.

What is it that you actually get for your money?  When I buy clothes, I can wear them.  When I buy a car, it is mine to drive.  When I purchase a home, I can live in it.  When I spend 95 cents on an mp3...I can play it whenever I want.  Just like pulling it up on  YouTube.  But only under certain circumstances.  Not in public, that's for sure.

Is it possible that digital media is a tad bit overpriced?

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