Hmmm... Steve, as a member of my country's Pirate Party, I wanted to ask some authors what they think about or proposals on copyright. In very reduced terms, it changed "copyright" for "author's rights", and could be summed up in two sentences:
1º. If you don't get money, you can have a digital copy of it.
2º. If you get money, you must pay the author.
I used to download like crazy when I was a late teen and university student. I know it sounds really bad, but as for me, I couldn't buy many things with the 6 euros a week my Mom gave me when I was studying.
After I started making my own money, I rushed to the libraries and theaters. I support the musicians by buying merchandise: I like Mp3, and I don't go to concerts. Most people I know go to concerts... But everyone wants to try first.
It's difficult to find good stuff, but when I do, I contribute. Of course, I suppose there's people in low states of consciousness who simply think themselves clever if they get everything for free. But that's a scarcity mindset, I suppose it can be avoided. But that's a problem few people have.
Another point about downloads and all that... It used to be "buy first, try later, no refunds". Now I can try first, buy later. I know companies and copyright holders think that it is downloads that make them lose money, but I assure you it's not that. It's just that the artistic field is full of commercial products of no quality. If cinemas played Conan or Labyrinth again, I'd rush to see those movies, despite I've seen them more than three times each. But directives want people to go see Eragon, and blame downloads if people don't. In fact, movie makers can be glad that downloads exist and people can try before going to the cinema. Whenever I go to the cinema and come out disappointed, or feeling cheated of my money, or feeling like my intelligence was insulted, it takes me months to go back again, until I forget the bad experience. But if I had seen Episode II of Star Wars at the cinema, I wouldn't have gone back in two years.
In case any author is reading this post, I'd please ask you to consider having a look at my Party's Proposal on author's rights. I would really, really like to see what other authors would think of it, how other authors would receive it. So if you could give your opinion, I'd be very thankful:
If you think this is spam, please tell me and I will erase this part of the message, or I'll open another thread in the forums. I really would like to know if our proposal is fairly balanced towards all parts: Proposal on copyright (English version) - Partido_Pirata