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Only 2 in 500 College Students Believe in IP 649

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ethics-classes-waiting-for-new-material dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "David Pogue of the New York Times has an interesting story about how fewer and fewer people believe that infringement is wrong. He mentions talks he gave back in 2005 where people were willing to believe that making backups of DVDs you own is wrong. Today, however, at his talks, he was only able to get two people out of a crowd of five hundred college students to say that downloading a movie or album is wrong. He goes on, like many before him, to bemoan the immorality of young people today, saying: 'I do know, though, that the TV, movie and record companies' problems have only just begun. Right now, the customers who can't even *see* why file sharing might be wrong are still young. But 10, 20, 30 years from now, that crowd will be *everybody*. What will happen then?'"
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Only 2 in 500 College Students Believe in IP

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  • by muftak (636261) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:06PM (#21810584)
    How else do they think the internet works?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RPoet (20693)
      I suspect they believe it was intelligently designed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iggymanz (596061)
      tubes. tubes full of electric mails and pages of clicks. sometimes the tubes get too full. unplugging and plugging in the connection to the tubes can flush them.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:08PM (#21810586) Homepage Journal

    So less than one percent believe in IP. If not Internet Protocol [wikipedia.org], which network layer protocol [wikipedia.org] do they believe in?

    But seriously, there are reasons not to believe in "intellectual property" even if you do believe in copyright. For one thing, "intellectual property" confuses copyright law, patent law, and trademark law. [gnu.org].

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tahuti (744415)
      There is new one IP = intellectual privileges, it only considers copyrights and patents, trademarks are excluded since they are not developed to be incentive for creators. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1023735 [ssrn.com] http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20071023/133936.shtml [techdirt.com] http://www.intellectualprivilege.com/blog/ [intellectu...vilege.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:36PM (#21810772)
      Submitter here. I'd have written IP out as imaginary property in the headline, or maybe even just copyright (which is all the article actually discusses), but I didn't have enough room for either route.

      That said, you are correct that Stallman disagrees on calling it IP, even if you choose to subvert it by expanding it as imaginary property. However, my belief is that you'll never get people to stop clumping them together so long as law schools, where there's certainly no shortage of pedantry, are more than willing to lump them together. Thus, subversion is not the better option, it is the only option for those who dislike the term.

      For what it's worth, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents all have various flaws. Trademarks allow far too little fair use and fair use is too hard to defend (unless you WANT to pay a law firm big money to establish what a "reasonable person" might believe). Trade secrets, well, the theory is fine, but they're essentially impossible to protect thanks to the internet. The laws give a false sense of security at best. If you don't believe me, find a geek who hasn't heard of 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0. I have that stupid thing memorized. Copyrights, well, they'll live longer than I do, you can apparently copyright facts that aren't "facts" because they concern a work of fiction, I've yet to see anyone punished for sending out flat-out wrong DMCA notices no matter what the "perjury" part says. Patents, well, if they defended actual innovation, they might be somewhat reasonable. Why are they not legally able to take the fact that something was independently reinvented (possibly multiple times) as evidence of obviousness? It's not like anyone reads patents until they're sued for infringing upon them. They're written in incomprehensible legal gibberish that's no longer even marginally useful to an actual inventor...

      So yeah, basically, I don't believe (i.e. trust) in any of that crap. They do exist, of course, but shouldn't. Not without a rewrite, but this time they should get people to examine the laws for perverse incentive and enforceability. Otherwise we have laws, but they do us no good. That's completely unreasonable, even if it's not hard to see how we ended up that way.
    • by aussie_a (778472) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:39PM (#21810818) Journal
      They quite possibly do believe in IP. They just don't believe downloading for personal use to be immoral.
      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday December 24, 2007 @09:10PM (#21811364)

        [College students] just don't believe downloading for personal use to be immoral.

        Many of my friends didn't see anything unfair about heavy taxation and redistribution of wealth while they were students (and therefore paying no tax and probably claiming some sort of state funding toward their tuition expenses). In most cases, their views changed rather abruptly when they got their first real pay slip and looked at the deductions column.

        The moral of the story is that your personal morals are at least in part a product of your own experience and view of the world. Most college students have a very narrow view of the world, being young and having yet to start the main working phase of their lives, so it's not surprising that their views on ethical issues like copyright infringement come from a one-sided perspective. It is, of course, regrettable how quickly certain people who have come through the education system and started work in knowledge industries forget their first perspective in their haste to advocate their second.

        • by Andrew Cady (115471) on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:30PM (#21811840)

          The moral of the story is that your personal morals are at least in part a product of your own experience and view of the world. Most college students have a very narrow view of the world, being young and having yet to start the main working phase of their lives, so it's not surprising that their views on ethical issues like copyright infringement come from a one-sided perspective.
          That is a strange moral to take from it. I would see the moral as this: politics is war by other means. One supports the law that benefits oneself. The students support the laws that benefit students; the workers support laws that benefit workers; the business owners support laws that benefit owners; heirs-to-be support the reduction of death taxes; those who will not inherit support the increase of death taxes; etc..
          • by smallpaul (65919) <paul.prescod@net> on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:40PM (#21812266)

            One supports the law that benefits oneself.

            There are many people who advocate that their own taxes be raised in order to pay for a social program they believe to be for the greater good, whether it be public education, socialized medicine, intervention in the Balkans, the fight against AIDS in Africa, amelioration of global climate change and so forth. Many super-rich people ask quite explicitly to pay more taxes. Warren Buffet is a good example.

            • by Pentahex (1050778) on Tuesday December 25, 2007 @12:26AM (#21812462)
              Warren Buffet will never have to worry about paying the mortgage or the light bill. Sure, the Hollywood elite and super rich like George Soros can advocate higher taxes because they're economically untouchable. They have more money that anybody could spend in many lifetimes. The poor and lower middle class pay only minimal taxes. It's hard working middle class people trying to acquire wealth that are crushed by the jackboot of confiscatory taxation.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Kadin2048 (468275) *

              One supports the law that benefits oneself.

              There are many people who advocate that their own taxes be raised in order to pay for a social program they believe to be for the greater good, whether it be public education, socialized medicine, intervention in the Balkans, the fight against AIDS in Africa, amelioration of global climate change and so forth. Many super-rich people ask quite explicitly to pay more taxes. Warren Buffet is a good example.

              The two things aren't mutually exclusive. You could easily be in favor of higher taxes as a way to benefit yourself -- it's all about defining 'benefit.' It's difficult to quantify a "warm, fuzzy feeling," but it obviously has some value to some people. I don't think it's hard to believe at all that people who have so much money that they can't figure out ways to spend it themselves anymore, would want higher taxes: it's a way of deriving benefit (or at least alleviating guilt?) from their money.

              Plus, a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by marcello_dl (667940)

        /Sig:/ GPLv3 is a tool for IBM to dominate the market. Any freedoms it ensures are merely side-effects.

        Air is a tool for a fire to spread and destroy things. Any breathing capabilities it ensures are merely side effects.

        GPL is an expression of greater freedom at expenses of local limitations. Freedom is greater than IBM and their competitors. B IBM fought Sun with patents.
      • Wrong Issue (Score:3, Interesting)

        by severoon (536737)

        The OP is framing this discussion improperly. This shouldn't be a discussion about morality or ethics; this should be a discussion about what is and what will continue to happen.

        The fact of the matter is that companies want the right to sell whatever product or service they like, without being compelled to package those products and services in any way by the government. In this particular case, they're lobbying government to correct the slight of omission against the industry—that is, they feel vi

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gordo3000 (785698)
          a few points:
          I've never once seen a 14 year old tithe any real amount of money to any war chest of a corporation. It's always those kids who looked forward to playing tiny sums into the chest that became the big consumers later. The danger is if the 14 year old learns and gets confortable with bit torrent, he will NEVER have any reason to pay for music again.

          I've seen people who can't figure out how to install a program(any program) learn to use bit torrent in under 20 minutes. It's amazing what a financ
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by severoon (536737)

            I've never once seen a 14 year old tithe any real amount of money to any war chest of a corporation.

            What's the biggest demographic that buys what the large music labels are selling?

            It's amazing what a financial incentive can do.

            True—but why is it different this time? The same argument has been rolled out after every new technology advance. The first time someone could tape a song off the radio and play it any time they wanted, for instance.

            ...you will never have to pay for music again..

  • by StrategicIrony (1183007) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:12PM (#21810620)
    If *everyone* believes that something is not wrong..... doesn't that sorta necessarily make it so? I mean the end-result of that assumption being prevalent in the vast majority of people is the death of the record and movie industry. Movies and music won't go away. They will become controlled and disseminated by other means. Perhaps bands never do studio recordings of some tracks and charge a lot for live shows to make money. Perhaps the era of "big money" bands and movies is done with. Frankly, with computer technology, a skilled hobbiest can reproduce studio quality recordings if given good musicans. A skilled hobbiest can make compelling movies.... seemingly perhaps better than Hollywood studios. So what are we left with? Music and movies are better and cheaper and not controlled by monopoly conglomerates. uhm... Yay! SI
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stewbacca (1033764)

      If *everyone* believes that something is not wrong..... doesn't that sorta necessarily make it so?
      Un, no. That makes a lot of people wrong.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      25 years from now, probably more than a few of those college students will have created something profitable that will be subject to IP laws. I guarantee, at that point their perspectives on the matter will change.

      College students also tend to be partial to socialism, too - until they start earning a living and take a look at the taxes deducted from their paychecks. Same principle applies....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by novakyu (636495)

        College students also tend to be partial to socialism, too - until they start earning a living and take a look at the taxes deducted from their paychecks. Same principle applies....

        While there is something to be said about anecdotal evidences, while I was a college student (and will be again soon), I worked part time all 4 years (and have known many friends who held a job at most times). I did see my paycheck and saw all the taxes deducted (and, yes, I earned enough that I'd have to pay several hundred in taxes each year). I still think taxes do enough good work that I will support them.

        In fact, at the higher tax bracket, I don't think they are taxing enough. I think they should tax

  • Corporations will have to figure out other streams of income.
  • by garcia (6573) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:14PM (#21810634) Homepage
    While copying media goes way back (remember the DAT tax or the fear that cassettes or VCRs would end the world?) before college students of today, the media conglomerates campaign against this type of crap is only really starting. With the RIAA making up its own commercials [arstechnica.com], getting laws passed by paying off lawmakers and adding so many fucking anti-infringement notices to their media that I burn DVDs just to rid myself of them.

    In 30 years we might not see what we would expect. The RIAA and MPAA has deeper pockets than the nerd crowd and they have a lot more to lose.

    No one here, or really anywhere else, could believe the RIAA would win that fucking case in Duluth and yet they did. For whatever reason there are still people out there that can be easily swayed by the bullshit that is strewn from the mouths of those douchebags.

    I fear the worst. Support those artists that support freedom of music and media before your money is used against people just like you.
  • What will happen then?
    They'll have to stop manufacturing buggy whips and find a way to make money from promoting and an eye for talent again as their primary function.

    Or die. Horribly.
  • by kyc (984418) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:16PM (#21810646)

      First everybody will believe that IP doesn't exist. Even now many people (including reasonable nerds such as we are) believe that IP does not exist in the form it struggles to exist today.

    The context of IP is changing and it has to change according to Internet rules. People think that it might seem unethical but the availability of sharing (especially when there is more than a single network node for each human being) cannot be just neglected by the trivial assumption that people should respect for IP.

    I don't believe in IP and I don't think they deserve it. Is the amount of effort they are putting to produce a song, really worth the millions of dollars they are claiming that they must make?
    No way.

    That's why they will lose. That's why they are losing every second. And at some point, they will really understand that resistance is futile.

    Internet will prevail
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pauljlucas (529435)

      I don't believe in IP....
      I work for a very small start-up. Are you saying that (a) big corporations are within their rights to take our ideas and (b) you to download our product without paying thus driving us out of business?

      IP isn't strictly for the big corporations. Just because you may not like some corporations' tactics doesn't mean you should eliminate (or "not believe in") IP.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cal Paterson (881180) *

        I work for a very small start-up. Are you saying that (a) big corporations are within their rights to take our ideas and (b) you to download our product without paying thus driving us out of business?

        Yes, I would. And I would add that it is not the laws' job to make your business model work. Everyone wants their business model to work, but manipulation of legislature is not an acceptable way to make this happen. However, you should not be prevented from adding any kind of DRM to control the use of the

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:17PM (#21810662)
    copyright, and patents too. last 5 years. no extensions. no exceptions. you get a 5 year monopoly on your creation or idea.

    after that its fair game. public domain. and no. you cant gouge the hell out of us on price to make up for it. create more crap and get another 5 years for that instead.

    the time of beyond lifelong copyright and patent protection needs to end. its sucking up way too much time and resources. and gains nothing for the world.

    and we just dont want to listen to people whine anymore.
  • Old news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustShootMe (122551) * <rmiller@duskglow.com> on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:20PM (#21810682) Homepage Journal
    People are always scared of what happens when children grow up.

    That's one reason why I think that the politicians are trying to erode individual rights. They're scared shitless about what's going to happen when the children grow up and start making public policy.
  • by headkase (533448) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:26PM (#21810710)
    "What will happen then?"

    Well, as more and more content is released under permissive licenses and that pool is getting larger everyday and is irrevocable short of making giving away your effort illegal... I guess we'll all turn into small contributers that others remix into great works. And in turn we'll remix others contributions into our own (maybe great) works. Kind of like a cottage industry on steroids. And we have the great tubes to thank by reducing the barrier to entry and more importantly providing a means to replicate information effortlessly and cheaply.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:26PM (#21810714) Homepage
    Students, nay people see Tv shows broadcast over the air as fair game. and will always feel that way. If I record lost and give that copy to a friend in Germany there is no common sense logic that can say that I am stealing it. I got it for free, the advertisers paid for that show to be aired over public airwaves, they got the benefit of it and the station did as well, when I send Hans the DiVX copy he get's to enjoy the crappy local car lot ad's and coca-cola ad's as well. (yes I'm a lazy ass and dont strip the commercials out, boo hoo that's what 30 second skip is for)

    Many feel bad a bit about downloading a pay tv only show like Dexter, but SOMEONE paid for the right to view it and record it. All the companies involved got their money.

    And that is what people see, they see all this IP crap as nothing more than a extra greedy money grab. Almost everyone sees that Comedy central pulling youtube clips as 100% greed and when people see greed they retaliate against it.

    As long as the media companies are acting insanely stupid and publically showing their insatiable greed this will not only continue but will grow in the opposite direction. If they keep it up we actually may see common folk caring about copyright to the point that they want copyright laws repealed.

    The one dark nightmare that make media company executives wake up screaming at night.

  • Summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:27PM (#21810722) Homepage
    "Fewer and fewer people believing infringing is wrong" is not the same as "not believing in IP." I believe in the concepts of intellectual property, very strongly. However, the MPIA, RIAA, etc., have made fair use and reasonable pricing and distribution of profits to artists into such an absurdity, people can easily rationalize copying.

    I think most people would believe that artists and their associated support network should retain their rights to their music or other works. And if things were available at reasonable prices, with reasonable ability to archive and move to new media, then people would pay, respecting the rights of the owners.

    But $20 for a CD with one formulatic pop song that's a bit catchy, and a bunch of filler, makes rationalizing copying a lot easier than it should be.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Antony-Kyre (807195)
      I think there are a few issues here.

      1. True pirates aren't those sharing recorded TV shows and TV movies on fileservers. True pirates are those who sell the recordings for money, perhaps on eBay or somewhere else. They're taking money away from sales that very well could have been if the rights-holder were to do the same thing (assuming they're not).

      2. There is the issue of whether to illegally download the show or movie you want to watch, or go out and buy the DVD. But the DVDs aren't exactly cheap. Plus,
  • Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RockMFR (1022315) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:29PM (#21810732)
    Before anyone starts discussing the 2/500 statistic, remember that the interview method - asking an auditorium of college students to raise their hand - is not the best way to get a truthful response. The percentage of people who believe that downloading a movie/album illegally is wrong is probably much higher.
  • The term "intellectual property" was regarded with similar comedy when Letterman moved to CBS. I think the joke was that the band couldn't be called The World's Most Dangerous Band anymore because that name was the "intellectual property" of NBC. It got a big laugh.
  • They're Just Kids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lseltzer (311306)
    ...and kids are stupid and naive.

    One day their livelihood may rely on intellectual property and their attitude will change.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:39PM (#21810814) Homepage

    The risible rhetoric that the "Intellectual Property" barons has been pushing for so long has been so plainly wrong that they don't even have the credibility left to make reasonable claims and be believed.

    Insistently equating trespassing on someone's copyrights with armed robbery ("piracy") and "theft" when it plainly is neither for so long means that now a lot of people have trouble taking the whole concept of copyright seriously, unfortunately.

    • by whoever57 (658626)

      The risible rhetoric that the "Intellectual Property" barons has been pushing for so long has been so plainly wrong that they don't even have the credibility left to make reasonable claims and be believed.

      I believe you are exactly correct. The RIAA and MPAA have been pushing for expanded rights to the detriment of fair use (even denying any fair use rights exist) that people treat them with contempt and have only contempt for their claims.

      The *AAs have attempted to make a black and white issue over co

  • Sick and tired (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) on Monday December 24, 2007 @07:43PM (#21810838)
    The "immorality of young people today" argument is as old as Plato and Socrates. Every generation is (apparently) more immoral than the previous. Your point is?
  • or as in or 'already broadcast a million times for free'??

    I can see 'them' getting upset over the taping and release of a Still-in-the-theater movie. But once it's been shown on TV, for free, who cares. What's the practical difference between me taping a free, over-the-airwaves broadcast, and me downloading a copy that someone else taped??
  • FTFA:

    "You want a movie or an album. You don't want to pay for it. So you download it." There it was: the bald-faced, worst-case example, without any nuance or mitigating factors whatsoever.

    One problem is that he neglected to say "illegally downloaded." There is nothing wrong with downloading movies. That is how some of them are distributed.

    It is clear what he meant, but this is the kind of confusion that the MPAA uses to convince courts that P2P and Youtube et al have no legal purpose. If downloading mo

  • "Bemoan"? I read the FA and Pogue does no such bemoaning. He does, however, point out the vast generational differences in attitudes towards intellectual property. He doesn't editorialize at all; something slashdot contributors and editors should try doing once in a while.
  • Over the past century, the content companies have learned from experience that they can control and dominate all aspects of their industry. They force-feed the public with crap music from acts that they browbeat into submission, taking tremendous chunks of the revenues through their position as middleman. They convince the public (or at least themselves) that they can dictate the terms of use for their products, even when the public has already paid a more-than-fair price for those products. They take fo
  • by amyhughes (569088) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:07PM (#21810986) Homepage
    Hey, a discussion of intellectual property on slashdot! This will surely cover new ground. I can't wait to learn what slashdot thinks!
  • by kramer (19951) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:41PM (#21811188) Homepage
    It's not that only 2 in 500 believe in IP. Only 2 in 500 care enough to raise their hand in public. More probably don't want to look bad in front of their peers, or didn't want to risk being held up as an example by the strongly biased speaker.
  • Flower Power! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by a_nonamiss (743253) on Monday December 24, 2007 @08:45PM (#21811212)
    It'll be just like when, in the 1960's, most young people had a laid-back attitude towards drug use, which was illegal at the time. Now, 40 years later, those people are in power, and drug use is perfectly... uh... oh... wait. Never mind.
  • I believe in IP... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vegeta99 (219501) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nnyljr}> on Monday December 24, 2007 @10:56PM (#21812010)
    I'm a college student, and I believe in intellectual property, and understand its value to society, HOWEVER:

    - I was raised in an analog world, and now have my youth in a digital one. In my analog world, if a TV show came on when I couldn't watch it, I simply programmed the VCR and listened to my parents whine that they didn't know how to do so. In the digital world, if I am to record it using consumer equipment, at one day, those who are NOT in charge (Remember, those that are, that is, the USC, said it was OK.) can take away my right to do so. Therefore, I'm not going to give them the chance. I will use BitTorrent to time and format shift my television viewing.

    - In my analog world, the only rule for renting a video was "Be kind, rewind." In the new digital world, I'm also told that I will be prevented from copying the video for my own personal use. I never had any use to before - a movie rental is just a 2 mile drive and $3.00, but since you decided to prevent me from doing so, my curiosity was provoked, and I will now copy the video just to say that I can.

    - In my analog world, if I didn't like all the crap on an album the shills are trying to sell, I could purchase the single, and probably get a B-side or two with it. Now, I can't. Furthermore, with digital distribution, I'm asked to take a quality hit in order to help defray the costs of the distributor. Not likely. I'll download it.

    - In my analog world, if I hear a song that I like, I can call up my favorite radio station, ask the DJ to play it, and then tape it. Unfortunately, due to payola and the ClearChannel buyout of my entire county, sometimes I can't do that - but it is still my right under US case law! In the digital world, however, RIAA tries to require safeguards to keep me from doing that. Therefore, if I hear a song on internet radio, I'm going to have no qualms in downloading an MP3 version of it.

    - In my analog world, $20 used to be able to get you two movie tickets, two sodas, and a big ol popcorn. Now, when I go, I'm carded for the R movie (I'm twenty-one), searched for a camera (and I'm a slim person), and then charged upwards of $35 for a low-quality (DLP) show in a sticky auditorium. Being searched for a camera in order to watch a movie is too much, so I'm going to download it.

    I'm not immoral. The powers that be simply think the rules should change now because it's a new system, and I'm sorry, they're not going to. If you try to take away what rights I had, I'm going to disregard /yours/.

  • by Sarusa (104047) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:02PM (#21812054)
    This is completely normal - high school and college students (in general, there are always exceptions) have no appreciation whatsoever for property rights of any kind or the idea that money or products might be worth something. We're just fleshy entitlement machines at that stage. There's just no context for it until you're out on your own and hold down a 'real' job for a while and learn the basics of budgeting and the idea of fair worth.

    When I was in high school and college we made mix tapes (yes we had CDs, but burning wasn't cheap or easy) and pirated software with no concern at all. Now that I make my own living off software I appreciate the value of paying for useful software which has value added over open source. I also buy CDs because I want to support the artists I listen to; of course the value proposition there is changing, but there's still the basic idea of buying a product.

    Asking college students if piracy is wrong is like asking Buddhists about Catholic heresies. It's just not meaningful except as a curiousity.
  • by Vadim Makarov (529622) <makarov@vad1.com> on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:06PM (#21812080) Homepage
    I think this is a good movement. I do not believe that not paying the film company or the music producer is right. They should get paid. However I do wholeheartedly believe the RETAILER, together with the associated overhead expenses and the stupid restrictions that come with this method of distribution, should die.

    Come up with a model where I can more or less directly pay to the studio/publisher after playing past the first quarter of the album or movie or reading past the first quarter of a book, and I will happily follow it. Yes I have my credit card ready -- to pay the creators only, and only for what I consume (not just download).
  • by goodmanj (234846) on Monday December 24, 2007 @11:07PM (#21812088)
    This "poll" was done by show of hands in a large lecture hall. As a college professor, let me tell you: unless you're a very good teacher, the number of students in a college class who'll raise their hands when asked *any* question, up to and including "do you have a pulse?" is 2. Doesn't matter how big the class is: if it's a 2 person class, both will raise their hands. In a 500-person class, it's still 2, 'cause 300 of them aren't paying attention, and 198 are chicken.

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