Back in May, the Author of Enders Game wrote this article:
The entertainment business is driven by two great devils: greed and terror.
And nowhere do these twin monsters reveal themselves more clearly than in the current demand by the entertainment industry for perpetual copyright and universal copy protection.
I make my living from copyright, so you'd think I'd have more sympathy for the music and film industries. After all, I wouldn't appreciate it if somebody started taking my books and letting people read them ... for free! Without paying me each time!
Oh, wait. They already do. In fact, the government does it -- with libraries.
But ordinary citizens do, too. They buy my books and then lend them to friends. They proudly tell me, "Fifteen people have read this copy of your book."
The entertainment industry is convinced that digital copying is completely different. If you can get a perfect copy of a cd for free, why would you pay for one? Therefore, they have to eliminate the possibility.
They are so wrong.
The only piracy that hurts the publishers is when somebody copies their music and sells it. Otherwise, it's the modern equivalent of singing around the piano.
And I will never, never buy a copy-protected cd. I have too much good music already to need to give in to this paranoid, greedy, self-defeating attempt to keep me from using the cds I buy in the way I choose to use them.
And for those who say, Ah, but would you put your books online where people could download them for free? -- well, my answer is, I not only would, I did. Until the bookstore chains made me stop.
It didn't cost me royalties. It widened my audience. But try persuading a greedy paranoid of that!