> The scope of music collected on What.cd was almost incomprehensibly vast: More than a million distinct “releases” of songs, albums, and bootlegs.
> Bach cello suites. Obscure Chinese indie rock. Nigerian hip-hop. Thai psych-funk from the 1970s. Every release of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, including vinyl rips and remasters. UK techno tracks that were pressed on vinyl in the 90s, with only a few hundred copies made, and uploaded by dedicated crate-diggers.
> The collections of Spotify and Apple Music may seem infinite, but What.cd had thousands of albums that were not available anywhere else—and now, are not available anywhere at all. The site had about 800,000 artists as of early 2016...
In fact, once something enters the public domain, copying it, consuming it, drawing attention to it, documenting it, analysing it, archiving it, reusing it, in short, using it; is absolutely vital to keep those facets of culture a part of our heritage. And it is completely legal.
But between the public domain and the moment cultural artefacts are created is a vast gap where copyright shields everything from those acts, even when nobody is monetizing it, and when all that stands between losing it forever and maintaining it for future generations is a couple of pirates who ripped a copy at an opportune moment.
The current copyright status quo is killing culture. 28 years of copyright protects the creator, life plus 100 years just protects the profits of some faceless megacorporation or rent-seeking artist's estate.
If anything piracy is essential to the survival of culture. The more we barricade our works into locked off walled gardens the more likely we are to lose them. The music piracy scene is a large reason why a lot of music is still around today.
Bands and Artists whither away and die but the music lives on. How do you make that happen when all the music is locked behind DRM on streaming services?
Likewise goes for gaming communities that have reverse engineered the online services for long dead games. It's cracking and its piracy to distribute these games but they maintain vibrant communities for abandoned games.
I fear that with the increased reliance on streaming services, other gated content providers, and the increased effort to force copyright compliance that a lot of what we consume nowadays will become lost internet history.
> If anything piracy is essential to the survival of culture.
The book pirating scene is poor though. Outside of YA best-sellers and the usual K. Dick and Pratchett there isn't much to pirate if you are into anything not completely maintstream.
Looking at my paper books; Pooley's Flight Guide 1985; FIDO - Flying Through Fog; The Engineering History of the North of Ireland. Just three volumes out of thousands that are slowly slipping into oblivion.
The long tail of the Internet is not long enough to preserve all knowledge, particularly at the rate libraries are discarding old and 'unwanted' books.
Mind you this is the kind of book I buy, even in ePub format.
Rights holders only do the absolute minimum to preserve the culture they own, countless movies available in the commercial space are the worst quality versions of those movies and people passionate about those movies will go as far as tracking down multiple versions to take the picture quality of one, cut scenes from another, the sound from another and the subtitles from a fourth to make definitive best image, best sound, no cuts version and they do all that for free.
I mean, this is not just true, but even more clearly so when you look at things beyond the (fairly niche and not legally sanctioned) 'piracy' scene. There is solid scholarship showing that content which has entered the public domain is far better preserved and accrues far more references, compared to very similar content which is still copyright-encumbered. So it is clearly the case that, while having some copyright is likely good for culture, we have way more of it at present than would be justified.
I’m pretty sure you two are in complete agreement.
Doesn't seem inherently bad to me. It would be bad if it were for your own commerical benefit but if done for the preservation of culture for example it could be justified. If we couldn't copy CD's some music or video games might be lost forever -- even though copying is forbidden by the licence.
I can picture it...sorry Mr. Picasso great artists don't steal...they go straight to jail. Besides, your art ain't all that. Mr. Mozart, we are sorry to inform you that Symphony No. 37 violates Mr. Haydn's intellectual property and has to be removed from the musical canons for all eternity (just like pretty much all of Mr. Händel's work)
Arguably the greatest US piece of music culture (Jazz) would be banned completely because it's the worst possibly offense. Live streaming piracy with no shame.
All that needs to be eradicated is the obsolete middle-men acting as gatekeepers to our shared culture for profit.
Piracy is also the only way a lot of us can get access to content, georestrictions are a huge annoyance for far too many of us literally no way to get paid access for years and years and years. That's not fair treatment.