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I'm done with Google (deijin.bearblog.dev)
459 points by memorable on Dec 27, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 317 comments

> So I pirate the movie (please don't arrest me, it's google's fault)

I really like the frank tone of the article and I wish people in general would just write unabashedly more often when it comes to stuff like this. Writers online love to dance around the idea of "pirating" their digital goods when communicating on the topic: "Ooh my 'friend' may or may not have downloaded 'xyz' movie from 'abc' website, but I don't advocate piracy".

I pirate music. I pirate movies. Who gives a fuck? I'm not selling it for money. I love having mp4 files, I love having mp3 files. I ESPECIALLY love pirating mp3 files ever since Spotify and the streaming/subscription model has taken over. spytify automatically records mp3 files with metadata tags while you personally listen to Spotify https://github.com/jwallet/spy-spotify

Adhering to file-based digital possessions has saved me countlessly over the years and it will continue to. I had my music uploaded to Google Play Music, and once that was shut down (the equivalent songs are not in the replacement), I swore off streamed music as a way to organize my personal library, forever. When I end up liking enough content from an artist, I try to find best avenues for compensation, like Bandcamp or SoundCloud.

The things I could be doing better in this regard is better file organization and encrypting everything to safeguard against when cloud file-hosting services come for me based on some dystopian DRM file-content scanning scheme. I've not hit that extreme point yet, however, although I should get around to it sooner than later with rclone (makes it trivially easy) https://github.com/rclone/rclone

And when a situation like the article arises, getting your auntie access to The Wizard of Oz might just be an Airdrop away.

Even a hardcore pirate like me tried to do the right thing when it comes to music - I got Spotify. But when I moved to Taiwan, I tried to switch my payment location to get regional pricing and they refuse to accept my Taiwan debit card. Now I pirate music or use Vanced (YouTube).

I live in Taiwan but my CC is from Singapore. I want to get HBO but I can't because I don't have a Taiwan CC. But I can sign up for HBO Singapore but I can't use it in Taiwan... Soooo I'm subjected to pirating HBO content. Sometimes I wonder if these companies actually want to make money because they make it so far for us to give them money.

I've never ever understood geoblocking. What kind of company says no to someone wanting to purchase their products? They are literally throwing away money.

This is just one example I know of, but in France they have laws regarding when movies are available to stream, in order to regulate competition with the movie theaters. This means that movies available in the US are often not (yet) available in France. I can imagine media companies having to deal with such rules for all countries being a nightmare to implement and then just open in the US.

Netflix has this nuanced aspect with languages. There's no way to filter films by:

* non english (but english subs)

* actual language you understand

Plus subs selection is pathetic - Apple TV shines here, but it's not perfect.

Not defending it, but I think it's a thing because media companies want to price things according to what a country/region can afford. So if they price something cheaper for Thailand, they don't want it to work in the US. Same as drug companies.

> Even a hardcore pirate like me tried to do the right thing when it comes to music - I got Spotify.

This is not the right thing to do. Spotify is peanuts to artists. If you want to do the right thing, buy music at Bandcamp: you get files you can keep forever and artists get a fair share of your money.

Bandcampers forget the platform is for underground artists and those not tied by contract to the heavyweight labels.

You'll never see mainstream pop artists on there.

I love to promote Bandcamp where possible but have to remember what it can offer to "Average Joe"

True... but I would argue the average Joe was never inclined to "do the right thing" anyway, he would just do what's more convenient for him (back in the days it was listnening to the radio, these days it's spoteezer). That's what made me react in the first place... conflating a spoteezer subscription with "do the right thing" is just... bizarre to me. You can only do so when you ignore the truth of the revenue share behind these platforms

> This is not the right thing to do. Spotify is peanuts to artists. If you want to do the right thing, buy music at Bandcamp

The right thing to do is to directly subscribe to their Patreon. It not only gets you access to exclusives, behind the scenes and even events, it also crowdfunds the future projects of the artist.

The right thing to do is to identify where the artist lives, then withdraw unmarked and untraceable cash which you post through their mailbox as a 'gift'. This means that you can guarantee all the money goes directly to the artist.

If you mean that as opposed to part of it being converted to taxes, I'd argue that's not quite "the right thing". Or does the artist not benefit from public goods and services, like roads, public lighting, police, firefighting, etc etc etc?

Ha, I was joking - I was just playing the game of 'claim the original suggestion isn't what a true supporter would do, and heighten the previous suggestion' by suggesting a semi-illegal 'stalk and dump unmarked cash' technique.

i.e. If you were a true supporter, the right thing to do would be to form a legal trust and make the beneficiary of the trust the artist's children, and put your money into that, as this would help them legally avoid income taxes on the money you are giving them while using the money for their children's education.

Or a TRUE SUPPORTER wouldn't use band camp, instead they would evaluate the quality of roads and infrastructure around the artists house and pay for a series of contractors to improve the surrounding roads and areas, which will not only improve the artists quality of living but will also improve the value of their house. etc. etc.

In reality there is no 'right thing to do' - just choose whatever channel the artist has put up that supports them at the level that you want them to, and where you get value out.

It's the artist's responsibility to pay their own taxes. And yes - anonymous gifts like that are taxable income too.

I disagree. A gift is not taxable. If I send a check to you in the mail because I like your HN nickname, you don't pay taxes on that. You might need to pay taxes on a Patreon account if you have set it up for the purpose of supporting a business venture, but if you have set it up for donations to an ailing relative for example, IMO you do not owe taxes.


Take this with a grain of salt, I am not a tax attorney nor an accountant.

Depends on where you are based. It may not be a gift if you receive something in return. And in Finland, where I live, gifts over a certain value are taxable income

Patreon takes something like ~8%. Its chump change for the service given - they also handle sales tax, EUVAT and equivalents, chargebacks, fraud etc.

I think subscriptions are part of the problem. I personally compensate artists with a one time payment on Bandcamp, download permanent files to my NAS, and replicate them in devices I use for music.

I don’t want recurring payments.

The artists I listen to don't all sell on bandcamp (most don't).

You're the lucky one, because there's a whole universe for you to discover ;-)

Yes you're taking peanuts from the artists and sacks of peanuts from the music corporations, that provide.. er, promotion, a contract, and own the rights to the music the artist created.

Although it is true artists do get something, the lion's share goes to the music corporation.

That's the part about passion industries people don't understand: the distribution side doesn't have much power to structure the payment to artists, it's all in control of the publishers (labels/movie studios/game publishers) who control a large catalogue of works and have immense leverage to negotiate all this bullshit on geo-locked content, royalties' payments to the creators, etc.

Ranting about Spotify's, Apple Music's, Tidal's payments to the artists or region-locking IP is a smoke-and-mirrors move from major labels, they are the ones forcing these practices unto the distributors/streaming services.

Spotify is peanuts to artists, but without Spotify I would not even discover most of the artists that I listen to.

You can benefit from Bandcamp in the same way.

Is it agreeable that Bandcamp's discovery system is equally as good as Spotify's? I've never tried it.

It's probably not as good, but works fine for me. Also, I heard they have a human-managed discovery instead of the automatic one. Podcasts with the overviews are also amazing.

Between iTunes and Bandcamp, it's very easy to buy DRM free music (most of the time). In the streaming era, its basically impossible to buy TV shows and movies without DRM.

> Between iTunes and Bandcamp

…and, if I may add, shops like https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/shop , which fill the gap of providing HQ downloads of popular music that cannot be found on Bandcamp. I have to admit I haven't used them in years (ever since I got a Spotify account) but they used to be my go-to place for purchasing FLACs.

Are all purchases on iTunes DRM free?

All music is.

SO EASY. Thank you. Daps up.

I tried doing the right thing via Spotify / Apple Music / Youtube Music. All of them have issues that piracy just doesn't.

Especially youtube music, sure i have access to otherwise "unpublished content" (looking at you Watsky refusing to put Wounded Healer on a streaming platform). But in a 3 hour flight I found myself iterating through all the songs I could download via the app.

For spotify, why do I have to go through all the hassle to explain to a person why tf I want my account closed? Why are you not giving me the tools to manage my library better? Why do I have to manually delete every single one song instead of group select or even purging everything?

I am not saying I am pirating, but I am not saying that it's a thing I will never do again.

The industry should get their shit together and build something that works for the customers (us), and smaller artists as well (cough spotify cough).

Works both ways tho. I remade my Tinder account from the Vietnamese phone number I had, have used my Canadian credit card and changed my account's phone to my Canadian one (ported to VoIP) after 3-4 weeks, but I still get billed in động for their top subscription.

You could remake your Spotify account. Alternatively, make a family account and share it with 5 more members. Works out to just 3$/month (Canadian!) for us. Wonder what it would work out to from a cheaper geolocation.

It would work. But it would still be piracy: their sublicense of content to you is likely conditional on you not doing any shenanigans to get another region's pricing.

So use it if you want to get recommendations, or don't want to bother managing your library, or want to give some pennies on a dollar to the actual artists. But remember, you're still a pirate. Be proud of it. Yarr!


I might try that but I have a lot of data already on my spotify account. The Spotify support tried to help me, escalated like four times, told me to talk to my bank (my card works on other sites and my bank said there should be no issues), etc. So I think it may not even work on a new account.

I know a number of "hardcore pirates" who pay for nearly every streaming service you can imagine, but never use the services. Instead they provide some sort of "moral cover" for their piracy. Whatever works for them, I guess.

Is Vance still working?

look up ReVanced

Yes. I would recommend migrating to it's successor revanced though.

check revanced, it works just fine with specific version


Not the guy you ask, but for me, I just want convenient digital thing on my laptop I actually own, not rent. I live in 2022 and don't want that physical crap.

I would have no problem to pay for DRM-free and location-independent stuff, but all this thing with "rights owners", "you can't hear that in this location", "you can't download it to listen offline and locally" is a total bullshit. I don't care what some lawman or government thinks. I also don't care about 5$ per month, that's nothing. But for my money, for any amount, I expect some respect and not this "money cow" attitude.

If artists want to get money from people like me, they probably should release their works under some more ethical distribution systems, which actually respect their customers wherever they live and whatever way to listen they prefer.

> Not the guy you ask, but for me, I just want convenient digital thing on my laptop I actually own, not rent. I live in 2022 and don't want that physical crap.

Welp I got you bruh bruh...

> I would have no problem to pay for DRM-free and location-independent stuff, but all this thing with "rights owners", "you can't hear that in this location", "you can't download it to listen offline and locally" is a total bullshit.

Give me your two favorite artists and I'll send you their latest releases in lossless ripped form after I cop their physical records. You pay me the cost of the physical medium (which I'll immediately turn around and go donate to the public library for others to enjoy) and I'll fully eat S&H etc aka any dollar amount over the cost of said physical medium. That fits your description of 'no problem to pay', yeah?

> I don't care what some lawman or government thinks. I also don't care about 5$ per month, that's nothing. But for my money, for any amount, I expect some respect and not this "money cow" attitude.

Yes all the artists I know could definitely be placed in one of your three categories; lawmen, government entities, and/or money cows. That certainly doesn't drive home my point that you're all disconnected & wildly removed from reality.

No problem, Send me Eminem, last Cypress Hill album and bitcoin address to pay, I'll pay you in public, put tx hash here and the whole HN will be able to see that.

Please also send here the invoice photo with yourself and nickname on hn as proof, so it's not some torrent downloaded content already and you really supported artists.

Though I won't do that process on day-to-day basis for each track I listen, that's kinda inconvenient, you know.

Just copped The Slim Shady LP for you. That one is a classic.

His later records are trash (ok he had one more decent showing on The Marshall Mathers) and Cypress Hill is laughable I won't do it. Holy fuck of course you picked those two artists lol.

For real though your shit is purchased straight up & on it's way and now that you've mentioned BTC I don't even want to be reimbursed I just want to send you the lossless rips when the physical lands – ETA 1/4/2023.

Send me something so I can give you these files, please. That Slim Shady LP is amazing and I want to come through on my offer.

> Though I won't do that process on day-to-day basis for each track I listen, that's kinda inconvenient, you know.

Right you'd have to go to the website where you buy things and do what I did. I can understand that that's a bummer for you. You know what else is a bummer? Two free album offer and you choose Eminem and Cypress Hill hahaha. God damn my HN music taste bingo board would have SMACKED.

There is no proof that you bought it, you can save for yourself if you don't want "reimbursement". I know how to use torrents, you know. The point was to support artists, not to get anything.

If you change your mind and would like to get the payment, the offer conditions is still valid, I don't deny to pay.

Actually your attitude is more or less the same as in other current distribution platforms - they kinda might support artists, but don't respect the client. And that's the reason that they will continue to loose money.

So we have a nice cosplay of modern labels, really!

Thanks for taking this train of thought through-and-through to its logical conclusion. leehuffman was being unreasonable bordering on absurdity, so I did not feel the need to engage with the posts, but you took it all the way to the end despite the rudeness and demonstrated how untenable/inconvenient the proposals were.

So you want people to have to purchase cd rom players and be limited to whatever can be physically shipped, or else they’re not allowed to enjoy music at all?

Those limitations were a hard cap years ago. Now they aren’t: if you put them on somebody, they are arbitrary.

And you’re going on a weird-ass rant about capitalism yet you’re not seeing that this is a classic capitalistic problem? You’re expecting people to go a route that is more difficult, more expensive, more time consuming and has less choice, because a fraction of a percent of their effort and money will then maybe go to the original producer of the music?

Let people pirate if it’s the easy route for them FFS. Blame the record labels and distributors, they’re the ones at fault here.

> Let people pirate if it’s the easy route for them FFS. Blame the record labels and distributors, they’re the ones at fault here.

Except I'm not referring to anyone who hasn't retained their masters/credits outside of their first record 20+ years ago. The rest of their catalogs are producing checks, but they're fractions of cents per play because streaming music services that everyone here hates.

The flip side is not ganking their shit off the internet for free (they're available and doing numbers on public trackers FYI)... it's purchasing their shit... why is this so confusing and/or combative for y'all?

And why is it so confusing for you that if convenience and accessibility tend towards piracy, then piracy will be picked over an inconvenient and inaccessible way of trying to pay for something?

Where convenience and accessibility tend towards paying, that will be the preferred solution. Spotify, Steam and Netflix built billion dollar businesses on that assumption being correct, in three different areas where people pirate frequently.

None of these businesses thought their time was best spent sending letters to individuals who were pirating. Not legal letters, not random HN comments talking about capitalism. Instead, they offered a solution.

If you pirate something for which you’ve already bought a license, is it even pirating? If the license is for a particular set of bits then unless you are pirating those exact bits I guess so. You licensed Lemonade.drm.mp4 so downloading Lemonade.mp3 is pirating.

But then again it’s not pirating to re encode your audio files once you’ve downloaded them. So I feel more confident in saying it’s not the bits that are licensed, it’s the work itself. The act of downloading it from piratewarez.example.com feels fishy, but if you download it from musicbackups.example.com — a hypothetical site that says you should not download copies of files unless you have bought a license for them in the past — then it starts to feel like a more interesting gray area. You’ve licensed a digital copy of the work, so why is it wrong to get a copy of it from some place else? The person distributing the work is probably in hot water, but you shouldn’t be, as long as you have the receipt for the original purchase and/or a copy of the license.

For me, the big one here is ebooks. If I buy a physical copy of a book then as far as I’m concerned I’ve bought the license to the work as well as that particular piece of physical media. I don’t lose sleep about pirating the ebook version as well.

IANAL but I think the license you buy from google play or apple or whatever is not a license for the content, it's a license to access the content from the provider through a specific player/app. So getting content from musicbackups dot com or whatever would not be a transferable right or gray area.

People will do it anyway though

Not sure about US, but for example in Czechia, you can download any content legally - as long as you don't share it, it's fine. Torrents do share it though, so that is a gray area.

You also have a right to make a personal backup/copy of the content, again, as long as you don't share that copy (projecting for multiple people is also sharing in this context).

>in Czechia, you can download any content legally - as long as you don't share it, it's fine.

Very similar law in Poland: you can legally pirate music, books, comics, movies, images for yours own (including your family and closest friends) use.

What's interesting, there is an exception for software and video games - those are always illegal.

> Torrents do share it though

Torrents don't share it. You do if your torrent client is configured to do so.

BitTorrent is a protocol. You use it how you use it. If you only want to use it to download stuff, you can.

“Emulators community” have a partucularly peculiar take on that by the way.

Current gen emulator developers usually say you should rip your own ROMs from the physical media instead of just downloading them from torrents (even if you have the disc/cartridge on hand). I don't think anybody's actually doing that, but discussing downloads is banned on official channels.

It's the law in the US.

You can RIP copyrighted content of physical media you own for backup purposes, but you cannot share it.

This is why ripping a music CD you own is perfectly legal, but if you upload it that is not legal, nor is downloading it from someone elses upload.

Some people in the emulation community do actually adhere to this, but the vast majority do not, as you noted.

Not sure about other content, but for games (and other programs) in particular this isn't quite true in the US (Copyright Act -- Section 117). You're explicitly able to authorize another individual to do the ripping on your behalf, and they can transfer to you the result. Websites offering those for download are problematic because they usually don't verify ownership or take any steps to ensure copies are destroyed or transferred when the underlying media is transferred.

Also, IANAL, but I suspect the order of events might get somebody into hot water. Although the effect on the creator would be the same, I'm not sure it's legal to (1) make a backup, (2) be authorized to make a backup by a media owner, and (3) transfer it -- as opposed to (2,1,3). I.e., hosting the content perpetually might be illegal regardless of your access controls. That isn't a problem with upload/download/sharing per se, but it does potentially make doing so more complicated.

> for which you’ve already bought a license...

Bought a temporary license to use/read/watch. Its not like you bought a digital file. Nope.

> Spytify records the same quality that Spotify outputs

But it's still doing bad transcoding. It's like taking a screenshot of a JPEG photo: if you save it, you end up with more artifacts.

I'd just use one of the numerous Deezer downloaders – they decrypt the actual audio stream, and the input quality is just as good.

I have no issue in paying the premium Deezer subscription with access to FLAC (16/44) files to build up my DJ-friendly music archive. I never play out/stream/upload mixes so audio only leaves the house if I save a mix on my phone for a long bike ride or run. Many artists get a healthy chunk of my cash for physical media (vinyl) via Bandcamp too.

Yes that's a fair criticism. I still want to use Spotify for discovery, and I'm not an audiophile, so the quality ends up being sufficient for me.

Yeah of course, if it suits you then I'm happy for you! It's just that the author rants about other tools downloading music from YouTube (which is also fair criticism of course), and then goes on and does the thing that's just as bad (or so says the audiophile zealot inside me).

(FWIW, there were some tools that could rip out the exact Ogg stream as used by Spotify, but I don't think they're working now.)

Yes to be honest though going to greater lengths to extract high quality audio reaches a personal point where I'd rather try searching for the artist on Bandcamp or SoundCloud to buy lossless/high-quality audio, although everyone has a different personal point and the avenues in which you can buy good audio from the artist may not always exist. My thought process goes as: "If I want good audio quality, that means I must think the artist is pretty good, ergo I should definitely try buying it in file format somehow".

Thanks for clarifying that point about spytify.

If one has digital audio that comes from playing back something encoded with lossy codec X, it should be possible to re-encode that in X format with no loss and no increase in size (this is trivial to prove).

Does anyone make re-encoders that can actually do that?

I subscribe to 4 different platforms (Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Crunchyroll) and every fucking time I want to watch a specific movie it’s not on any of these. Last week I wanted to watch Harry Potter which I know was on Netflix and/or Prime Video at some point, now it’s not available anywhere. So I went back to piracy. 2023 will be the year of Plex+NAS for me because I can’t justify paying for so many subscriptions if there’s not even the things I want to watch when I want it. I’ll just keep Crunchyroll as it’s giving me the best value so far.

> Last week I wanted to watch Harry Potter which I know was on Netflix and/or Prime Video at some point, now it’s not available anywhere.

It's on Peacock Premium and HBO Max.

Not available in Europe. Also there’s no way I’m paying for 1 more service. Even if I subscribed to all of them, it passed the point where it’s annoying to check one by one where I can find what I want to watch. It’s time for a meta service in front of all the others, but there’s no way this is coming in the 5 years. At some point, Netflix was simpler than piracy. Now piracy is simple again.

Not a plug, but roku's search makes finding a stream incredibly easy. More than once I've signed up for a sub on the spot because it had what I was looking for.

Not a plug because there are many things to dislike about roku, above all the ads on the homescreen. But that search ... there's nothing else like it.

Music and movies are very, very different. While there is no site I know of that provides purchase of DRM free downloads of popular movies, there are many alternatives for music. I purchase most of the music I like from Bandcamp and I think even Amazon allows purchase of DRM free downloadable music. I feel ZERO regrets about pirating movies, because I am not given any option worth purchasing, but I would feel bad pirating music and I think you should probably too, if you could afford it.

Not all music is available on Bandcamp or Amazon - the availability from what I have seen is quite poor. Its the same issue but the can has been kicked down the road for music a little.

Of course if you searched and you could not find it, then I agree it's perfectly fine to pirate as well.

I don't pirate for similar reasons. I just like the UX better. I like all these apps on my tv full of content. Until like 2015 pirating was the better UX so I did that. But now it's a pain in the ass relative to what streaming offers.

I always thought if they want me to pay, they gotta make it worth it. And they have. So they get my money.

> And they have. So they get my money.

Sure, as long as that holds. I like the music services as they have all the weird stuff I listen to. I like the book services as they have all the weird stuff I read. But movies/tvshows are a different ballgame; if i'm watching some series or saw some trailer and I want to see it but it doesn't appear in the netflix/hbo/disney/apple in my country, I am not going to wait or not watch it at all.

There are too often new shows that seem interesting (sure, they hardly ever actually are) but are anglo-saxon countries or US only.

Then, in the days of yore, Netflix used to have old movies/shows and people used to hate that. I did not, but they are mostly gone. Why would they not stock ancient content from the 40s-80s? Maybe they do in the US, but here it's almost completely gone.

It's almost completely gone in the US on Netflix also. I've had better luck watching older movies on Youtube 'Free with Ads' service, especially 80s and 90s movies, than I've had on Netflix. And there's no ads if you get Youtube's premium service (I currently don't, but don't mind the ads).

Currently on there is Wrongfully Accused (funny Leslie Nielsen movie), Glengarry Glen Ross, Robocop (1987), Ghost in the Shell, The Mask, License to Drive, The Neverending Story, Tombstone, Leon The Professonal, The Amityville Horror, Over the Top (some Stallone movie), Miracle on 34th Street, Con Air, Edward Scissorhands, Gone Fishin', Look Who's Talking, While You Were Sleeping, The Craft, Red Dawn, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Secret of Nimh, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Revenge of the Pink Panther, Mad Max, Das Boot, Little Shop of Horrors, Hackers, Children of the Corn, Death on the Nile (1978 version, remade recently), Delirious, Rock-a-Doodle, The Big Boss (Bruce Lee, 1971), Babes in Toyland, Samson an Delilah (1950), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Seven Year Itch (Marilyn Monroe, 1955) .... okay, I'm just going to stop now, but it keeps going, I'm only a third of the way though the list.

Also it's newer, but one of my favorite movies is currently free with ads on there: Kung Fu Hustle, a hilarious and ridiculous spectacle with excellent choreography.

Only downside is you never know how long they'll stay on there, it doesn't seem to be as long as other services, so you kind of need to check the list often and watch the ones you want to see while they're on there. I think I had a similar comment on here six months ago and the list I had then would have been completely different.

If you haven't, you might checkout HBO Max. It's got a much better lineup of movies than Netflix imo, especially in that timeframe.

You're probably right about that, I have noticed a pretty good line up on there when we had it for Silicon Valley, Game of Thrones, and Barry.

But I'd expect that of HBO also. They were the original channel to go to if you wanted to see great movies when I was a kid.

Also Ceiterion Channel. Tons of old (good) stuff, and lots of weird indie modern stuff.

Ditto, although on a marginally earlier schedule.

Not having to worry about being a data hoarder, with all the sorting, renaming, categorization, archiving etc is incredibly liberating.

I think of all the time I spent on an ancient single core machine ripping CDs (or downloading for OG Napster on dialup), many of which I probably never even listened to, and just shake my head.

I agree with this approach and your approach does not have to conflict with what I described (and I'm not saying that you wrote this as a rebuttal, either).

What we come to is that for one person, dealing with the pains of content management and organization is not worth the cost, monetary or otherwise. For me, it is worth the cost, it's just not primarily monetary.

Having said that, I use Netflix although that may change in the future. It helps with content discovery. Still, by no means is it my go-to method for content organization or full retrieval. I compared the colors side-by-side to Inception in Netflix compared to a downloaded version and for some reason it was way off to the point it hindered my enjoyment of the film. The massive blue tint was that noticeable.

That spy-spotify has some bs claims. Spotify uses ogg vorbis so if the output of the app is an mp3 there is a quality loss.

>spytify automatically records mp3 files with metadata tags while you personally use Spotify

I prefer pirating my music off YouTube.

  yt-dlp -f bestaudio https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=XXX
This nets you a bunch of *.webm files with Opus data inside them. YouTube's bestaudio is usually about 130 kbs Opus, which should be close to transparent. You can then use mkvextract to turn them into more usable *.opus files.

  mkvextract input.webm tracks 0:output.opus
The downside is that you need to tag your downloads manually after that. It's less of a problem for me since I use beets for my music library, but can be a pain if you don't have an automatic way of doing it.

Isn't the second extraction unnecessary? I just tried this command and it worked, with metadata

yt-dlp --output "%(upload_date)s ---- %(artist)s --- %(title)s.%(ext)s" --add-metadata --embed-thumbnail --audio-format opus --format bestaudio --remux-video opus "https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=0oAAlssVwEw"

Huh, didn't even notice that yt-dlp can do it automatically. Thanks.

Happy New Year!

add -x to yt-dlp to directly remux to .opus and --add-metadata to write tags.

Exactly this. MSN Music screwed me over when they shut down and made the .m4p DRM music files unplayable. I redownloaded all of the music via BitTorrent and persisted to this day.

Hope you are at least buying CDs otherwise you are just making excuses to take stuff for free

I do not keep files on my devices, unless they are in the queue for viewing/reading/listening. I know that any time I need anything - it is couple of clicks away on some torrent site. I will need to setup a torrent proxy some day if I decide to move to jurisdiction where ISPs are actively spying on their customers on using torrents (I heard a thing or two about Germany, for example). I am okay with that, as I am okay now with having couple of personal VPN exit nodes in countries where services want you to have a local IP address. Internet fragmentation is a fact, but not a very bothersome yet.

Which country/ISP are you? The surveillance problem with ISPs became bad enough that I tunnel every single packet from every home device through a VPS using WireGuard now, and that solved it. None of the home devices need to know anything about WireGuard, just the router.

Sounds overly complicated. I prefer torrenting on I2P instead: https://geti2p.net.

I don't feel comfortable participating with this particular p2p network. I'd rather make attempts to be my own custodian.

I was in Russia and Turkey, now in Serbia.

It's full of inaccuracies and hyperbole. It isn't frank, it is exaggerated to illicit a response.

For example,

> So I go to google play store and go through the 50,000 security verifications.

And this comment:

> Google is contributing to the destruction of the concept of ownership, as are many services of the modern age.

Pretty much any service that uses DRM. There is a lot to be upset with Google about, but this is like someone ranting that they can't figure out how to use a Google device. If you don't like it then buy a portable blu-ray or DVD player, or convert the DVD and blu-ray yourself to a digital format without DRM.

The article doesn’t express that Google is _solely_ responsible for the destruction of the concept of ownership. That statement isn’t inaccurate. It’s perfectly reasonable to be bothered by the fact that their setup worked fine for years and then stopped working for no good reason. It sounds like you’ve “heard it before” and don’t care to hear it again.

Remember that this is grandma’s setup. Sure, there are alternative paths for young bucks like us, but for others they simply want to “buy” something and then play it at will. This is a story about Google depriving a dying grandma of one of her last joys.

I am not under the impression that is what happened here. It sounds like a DRM sucks period rant that someone uses Google as a scapegoat and encourages like-minded Google haters to air their grievances about wanting to quit Google.

Like I said, there are a lot of reasons to dislike Google but this post sounds like a misguided complaint. The issue likely could have been solved and maybe entirely be attributed to user error, but it didn't matter.

you're free to interpret it that way, but that certainly wasn't my interpretation.

I wonder if it's a generational thing where those of us who are old enough to remember when streaming wasn't a thing don't find it acceptable because companies didn't used to be able to treat us this way. Once the physical media was in our hands it was ours and if it randomly stopped working it was generally duo to a physical problem we had a hand in.

I remember that and still advocate for it. I'm just surprised that the issue was directed at Google and not DRM in general.

I really like the frank tone of the article and I wish people in general would just write unabashedly more often when it comes to stuff like this.

I still remember when not pirating would get you strange reactions, and it was considered polite to share (on a USB drive or similar) the media you had recently consumed; some PMPs even had a USB host mode, which let users exchange files with others easily, and P2P was also far more popular. Here's some dated-but-related references from that era:



Unless you are buying physical media, tbe only way you can actually own something today is to pirate it.

Sites like GOG provide you with DRM free installers of all their games - you can backup those wherever you want.

Spotify is still great for discovering music, though.

Bandcamp does it for me, too.

I don't buy games from online unless there's no other alternative and I don't care. Usually it's some small, silly game I'm playing with my gf. But for everything _I_ want, it's physical medium, only. If sony or nintendo ever release a console that has no ability to use physical media, I will not purchase it. I say this because I believe nintendo has a version of the switch that has no ability to play physical media. I'm ok with different versions like that, I'm not ok with not being able to purchase a version that uses physical media.

Same with music, I have a huge music collection. A lot of them are pirated, many of them are FLAC rips from physical discs.

The _ONE_ exception I have to this is movies on Amazon. I'm not a huge movie/television guy but I _DO_ consume most of that type of media via Amazon Prime and Netflix. If something goes away I generally don't care, and if I _DO_ care I either already have physical copies or I know I can purchase them. So I will sometimes purchase this type of media on Amazon because I find the convenience acceptable considering the risk. Sometimes I'll repurchase on Amazon for things I physically own just for the convenience of it.


But yeah, pirating is going to become rampant again due to the behavior of these companies. I certainly have no qualms about doing it.

Generally speaking, if I want to watch a show and it's been pulled off of netflix or prime for some other service (HBO, CBS, etc) I just pirate it and move on.

I haven't watched past the last season of Survivor that's available on Amazon because I don't care enough to pirate it, but when I do decide I want to watch through the rest of it, that's how I'll consume it.

And fuck'em. You can't even _BUY_ the latest seasons on Amazon (my gf was purchasing them as she watched through them until they stopped offering it at all).

You don't want my money, then you don't want my money.

I ask for open mindedness that I bring religion here, I feel it necessary to discuss this question of ethics/morality: "Who gives a fuck?"

I quote Mark 12:15.

> But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

This is pretty much the reason I don't pirate.

I wasn't a Christian before. I first thought "if everyone else pays, why should I get it for free?". But eventually I came to question the concept of personal sharing of media being controlled by the state, and just gave in to 'piracy' (a silly name for the act). I suppose I also generally became jaded on social conscientiousness.

More recently I became a Christian and now I don't 'pirate' at all. It's because the above passage in my opinion can be applied to media (although it's not literally what was said, I think the rationale still works): most of the people who make such media don't approve of me 'pirating'. Therefore if I engage in it, which I actually have a choice about, rather than with the currency which frankly is mandatory for most people, then surely I owe them their price. And if I don't have a way to pay for it then I don't have any more right to it.

Respectfully, you act as if your hand is forced here, but you don't actually need to consume the media, you just want to.

With all due respect, the OP has bought the movie legitimately. He has paid for it. It was legally his.

It was Google's technical ineptitude that did not allow him to use his legitimately bought movie, which had been readily available before.

So he obtained an illegally made copy of the movie which he had legally obtained before, which he had every right to keep in his possession, formally. I don't see anyone's interests being hurt by this, including financial interests, or any moral wrong done.

I was addressing the commenter who said they just pirate. I think the article is another matter.

I can understand how Christianity-based morals might lead to thinking that digital piracy is immoral.

I can't understand how that particular bible verse could be a genuine influence on deciding whether or not illegally downloading copyrighted material is acceptable, at all. Can you explain what logic led from reading that text to deciding it meant you shouldn't pirate things?

And I'm also curious, if you hadn't read that verse would Jesus' other teachings, as told in the new testament, not have left you considering digital piracy to be immoral?

I think the idea is that Jesus was saying secular authorities should be regarded as authorities in secular affairs, while religious authorities / God / the church should be regarded as authorities in religious affairs. At least that's one read of it. So the commenter defers to the illegality of piracy as determined by secular authorities, and doesn't pirate, as a way of respecting (his/her interpretation of) Jesus' (reported) teaching.

Which in my view is a fair approach to life, but hard for me to adopt personally.

(To be clear: this is not a comment on Google's broken platform or the article, that's just awful. It's a response to the question "who gives a fuck?" regarding torrenting generally.)

> would Jesus' other teachings...not have left you considering digital piracy to be immoral?

Romans 13 calls Christians to be subject to authorities, that would be most Christians' given reason. It's one of my reasons, but it was not the reason that first convinced my heart.

> I can't understand how that particular bible verse could be a genuine influence on deciding whether or not illegally downloading copyrighted material is acceptable, at all. Can you explain what logic led from reading that text to deciding it meant you shouldn't pirate things?

Enemies of Jesus asked (paraphrasing) "Is it righteous to pay Caesar's tax, or not?". They were trying to trap him into saying something either illegal in the eyes of the Romans, or unrighteous in the eyes of the Jews. This is why Jesus says to bring him a coin, and asked "Who's head is on this coin?", and then says therefore "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God the things that are God's". This is the answer to the question of what is right with conflicting authorities, because on reflection it is not controversial that God's ownership should take precedence, but that otherwise in Caesar's land and with Caesar's money you must play by Caesar's rules.

Furthermore, for a free man of those days, this principle would have been a precursor of the social contract: you partake in Caesar's money (or live in his land), then you pay Caesar's tax; the same way that you might argue that people who benefit from society owe a debt to society.

Thinking of it this way, now think about media that is 'owned'. It bears someone's mark. You watch completely freely, you are far more free and flexible to choose what media you consume than what economy you engage with. Nobody in the free world is oppressed into watching movies. I find it now actually principled to defend therefore that the 'owner' of some media (especially the creator) can expect payment in return for a copy of the media. We can certainly debate about reasonable scope of copyrights, but I think copyrights themselves are reasonable to an extent.

The issue here isn't that it's Google, it's that Google is doing what they're told to do.

Movie and music licensing has been absolutely destroyed recently and the hoops that you have to agree to are becoming untenable. Recently, I mentioned to a band it was sad they pulled their music off Spotify. Puzzled, they were not even aware that the licensing was pulled, and they had to go yell at their record label (who was unaware they were even on Spotify because they made less than a dollar in royalties per year on it) who has sat on it for over a year and refused to release the rights back to the artist so they can have it available on Spotify.

> Recently, I mentioned to a band it was sad they pulled their music off Spotify. Puzzled, they were not even aware that the licensing was pulled, and they had to go yell at their record label (who was unaware they were even on Spotify because they made less than a dollar in royalties per year on it) who has sat on it for over a year and refused to release the rights back to the artist so they can have it available on Spotify.

That band didn't own their music and the "label" likely didn't either. They got fronted money that was never repaid (as per contract) and their shit traded hands multiple times. There was wild consolidation in this world over the last 10 - 25 years. What used to be money printing turned to "GOT EM!!" dollar signs in bold on contracts, which turned to small joints falling over (dollars and commas in bold didn't map on the backend) and now some banger owns their shit.

Most likely the banger who owned their shit lost it in the shuffle of the more banger shit they owned, or the overhead of the split with the 5% the small label who was able to retain that cut didn't even render on the P&L and they just shoved it in the virtual vault because who gives a fuck?

With all due respect, I feel like Google is large enough to refuse to be told what to do. If they really cared...

No they are not. The courts have been swift and merciless on this shit for music, video and similar things. Google may seem big but they do depends on the law still.

In the current system where Google plays lame duck, sure.

But all G has to do is say 'yeah if you want us to feature your content, you must agree to X'

With 90% of the search market, half of phones, and who knows what percentage of the smartTV market, they could institute a death sentence to those they wanted to.

IF they wanted to.

That sounds like a pretty big abuse of their power and potentially raises anti-trust concerns. They could easily wield that power for nefarious reasons and I don't think any of us would want that. We can change laws. Companies should abide by them, however insufficient they may be at a given point in time.

> That sounds like a pretty big abuse of their power and potentially raises anti-trust concerns. They could easily wield that power for nefarious reasons and I don't think any of us would want that.

As if google doesn't already abuse its power and weild it for nefarious reasons, or have massive anti-trust concerns? But god forbid they use their power to prevent others abusing theirs by forcing people to pay again and again for media they already own.

So just to be clear, you're suggesting that Google use threats of blocking content providers from their other products, to strong-arm them into better licensing terms?

There's a reason they don't do that, in any business. How do you think e.g. anti-trust regulators would feel about that?

Perhaps I wasn't clear, apologies. Not other products. Google is a video seller and distributor. They have a right to decide what terms they like or don't, just as Walmart does.

As a seller of widget X, there's no way I'd accept a product with a license that says they could just take it back anytime for any reason. No sane seller should agree to that.

Their market share of "search, mobile phones, smart TVs" is what you originally claimed would give them leverage. But none of those have any bearing on movie rentals / sales on YouTube. They're entirely different products.

Now, the terms for the movie rentals / sales would definitely be negotiated between Google and the content owner. And Google could of course make your no-DRM policy a line in the sand in those negotiations. But why would the content providers agree to that? There's plenty of other competitive platforms they can (and do!) sell exactly the same content on, being specifically on YouTube's movie rental system won't make or break them.

And then we get back to your original proposal, which was clearly that they'd be using all their unrelated properties as (highly unethical) leverage in the negotiations.

If that's not what you're proposing, maybe you could be really concrete about what you think Google would be saying in those contract negotiations? "We will be selling your movies without DRM; if you don't agree then X". What exactly do you think X would be?

Well, leveraging the other properties but only so far as around those services. So if I search my TV for movies to rent, it would only show me those. Same with the Movies and TV app on my phone.

It would be unethical to completely remove them from search. But would it be unethical to prefer partners and give them higher precedent in results?

As for what X is, I don't know precisely. They could easily update Play terms that no app my sell an item to a user that may be removed later. That would mean X would mean you weren't in Play Movies and TV, but also weren't allowed to sell movies via a Play Store App.

"How dare Google use their market dominance to do X"

but also

"Why doesn't Google use their market dominance to do X"

Even the currently sleeping market watchdogs would wake up for that free promotion.

That would kill the small labels, but not the big labels because they have a way to connect with their customers that google does not control, namely radio.

That said, I agree with the principle of what you're saying. Google put a LOT of things in place on youtube specifically so the large publishers wouldn't go after them, and that has extended to everything else.

Google absolutely has a large responsibility in this, but it's also true they're not the only party with responsibility for it.

So how much money does Google make from their music streaming service? They can exit the business citing the shitty, unfair practices of music/movie licensing.

But they won’t. They aren’t in the business to ethically make money, just legally. Many times, what is legally right is not ethically right.

They can also use their vast resources to try to change laws, even if it is a Herculean task. They won’t try that either. Because the only thing that matters is profit, everything else be damned

The whole music industry's yearly revenue is less than two months of Google's revenue, so I'm sure there is a way.

I think you massively misunderstand the impact of money on law.

I wasn't talking about changing the (interpretation of the) law, but from your reply I would argue that you're the one who has a massive misunderstanding regarding the law, fwiw.

I thought this too for the longest time. Then I heard an anecdote from one of my colleagues that does licensing: The music licensing industry heads (RIAA/MPAA/ASCAP/etc) are tiny fish monetarily, but they own everything and control it. If the RIAA doesn't like you, they can make you go away. The issue is that if anyone wants to fight them on Antitrust grounds, this turns the big light of Antitrust litigation around on those big fish that depend on Very Carefully not being in the spotlight.

Putting it differently: if Google tried to do anything, their counter would be calling the licensing bodies anticompetitive, which puts Google in the crosshairs next.

Refusing to be told what to do costs money. Say, Apple put its financial weight at labels with iTunes and iPod, and now we have 99¢ tracks as a norm.

But to spend money on something, a company has to plan to get more in return. Apple did. What would be the plan for Google? What money-making machine of theirs would it enable?

At one time Google had a first class music service, and I think they still rent and sell movies.

As for money making, I think a guarantee of 'yours forever, no takebacks' would put them way out front of their competition. But perhaps most people don't care enough for that to be true.

> yours forever, no takebacks

MP3s available form Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp at the very least all have this commendable property.

And the sale is once and forever, while an enticing revenue source is a recurring one %)

It's telling that Apple isn't able to persuade American content corporations into DRM free videos either. They're now biggest supporters and implementors of locked down DRM across their device portfolio.

The music industry was so terrified at what internet piracy was doing that they agreed to Apples terms. The film and television industry saw what Apple had done to music, and were terrified of what it would do to them. They held onto the only playable card they had.

Yeah, the only way things will change is if Google becomes a production studio. This won't be a better for situation for listeners nor for artists.

> The issue here isn't that it's Google, it's that Google is doing what they're told to do.

Nice try. One of the largest tech companies of the world, which in most countries other than USA holds basically a monopoly on mobile computing, is not being pushed around by the creative industries. Remember when Youtube became a thing and the media companies wanted it gone? Google fought with them and created a technology stack that almost any media company today uses, because it was in their interest to do so.

No, it's Google all the way down alright. They can force creative industries to accept real ownership of the media by the users, but this time it's just not in their interest to do so.

This is definitely not the case. If anything, Google is reportedly afraid of making any business changes[1] that may potentially come up as being anti-competitive, even at the cost of becoming obsolete in their existing markets.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/21/technology/ai-chatgpt-goo...

Based on the description it seems unlikely this is related to studio licensing. For one thing it was a purchased movie, so changes in streaming licensing should not apply. For another thing, the details of app updates and file caching are usually left up to the platform, for obvious reasons: the platforms know way more about that stuff than the studios.

That's the funny part about corporations. Because of the large internal hierarchy, even if majority of Google employees thinks that these antics about control over user are a bad idea, everybody perceives there is an expectation not to bring it up internally.

They can bring it up internally all right; last I heard, Memegen is still a thing at Google.

But it's not the majority, especially not the majority of the engineers, who makes decisions like that.

(And if you'e so annoyed you'd rather leave than shut up, welcome to today's IT job market.)

Real Names Considered Harmful

I'm always reminded of Gabe Newell's quote on piracy[1]:

>Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem

And by in large I still agree with it. For me I've only ever turned to piracy when the legitimate service has become a complete mess of red tape and user frustration.

[1] https://www.escapistmagazine.com/valves-gabe-newell-says-pir...

> And by in large I still agree with it. For me I've only ever turned to piracy when the legitimate service has become a complete mess of red tape and user frustration.

I think service quality is an issue too, at least for me.

Recently I wanted to rewatch Twin Peaks on TV. I found out I can stream it on Sky Showtime, which also has an AppleTV app. Sounds great!

I sign up, pay the cash and start watching.

And they are sending me a 1080p video stream with stereo audio.

This show has 5.1 and 7.1 DTS-MA audio-mixes on Blu-ray, so official surround-mixes definitely exists.

It would have perhaps cost Showtime 200kbps extra to offer me a 5.1 AC3 track?

But instead they will nickel and dime me to save some measly amounts of bandwidth and only give me a 128kbps stereo-track.

I’ll be honest and admit I went out and downloaded a “proper” release for this instead, and the subscription is now cancelled.

Because the service quality was not on par with a pirated alternative.

I think this is true for the majority of people, and I think music streaming is the example of this. I know almost no people who still pirate music, everyone has spotify. The competition between services (tidal, deezer) seems to be fought over music quality and some minor exclusives but the majority of the music collection is shared over services.

> some minor exclusives but the majority of the music collection is shared over services

Actually I had that impression some 7-8 years ago, but since then the experience on Spotify (France) continually deteriorated, with sometimes entire playlists (not even from a single artist, but e.g. one of my fav chiptune compilations) becoming entirely unplayable (greyed out) over night. I have the impression that this situation is getting more and more similar to the madness in video streaming. Every freaking time I want to watch a specific movie (vs just taking whatever they propose right now) I end up with zero hits on the streaming platforms in the house. (But in my family's defense, they only have amazon prime, netflix, and disney+... /s)

I don't participate in either of these shit-shows any longer. If this mode of operation of "one walled garden against the other" centering around exclusive content at the front of the distribution, with so much disregard for the long tail, is what streaming breeds, then streaming is no improvement over pirating. (and that doesn't even go into the economics of the system, i.e. who really makes money in it)

I don't have Spotify. And I never will. I don't like depending on subscription services. There are satisfactory alternatives (I find pre-compiled YouTube sets to work well) but having a local copy has always been a priority for me, and I don't see it changing any time soon.

Also these days with ransomware, crypto miners, botnets and other crap like that it's insane to run random *.exe files on your computer. Especially if you also doing stuff like online banking on it.

It's simply not worth the risk. And games that I want will be on sale sooner or later anyway.

I have no problem running random executables on my Qubes OS (in a hardware-virtualized, disposable VM).

Games usually have all sorts of issues when running in a VM.

This is very First world view sans min wage population. In developing countries, it is always a pricing problem and people don’t care about convenience. When you have only just barely enough money for food and rent, you are not thinking about great service vs zero price trade off.

Honest question, what's the difference between a pricing and service problem?

"Piracy is a service problem" means that most people pirate because they don't have access (or difficult access) to the product/service they want. They would gladly pay for it, but they can't, or can't be hassled to.

I don't know if it's been backed up by real data, but services like Steam and Spotify tend to confirm this intuition.

Spotify confirms that piracy was in fact a pricing problem. With a Spotify subscription, you get way more music for a far lower price than under the previous “buy it to hear it” model a la iTunes or CDs. And artists make way less money now from recorded music than they used to.

Studios only agreed to the Spotify pricing model because the alternative was rampant file-based piracy. They figured that getting something is better than nothing.

Sample size of one and whatnot, but I remember when I was a kid, it was pretty darn hard to find the kind of music I liked (think heavy metal that you won't hear on the radio). Sure, a CD was relatively expensive for me at the time. But mostly, it was hard to actually find.

Sure, the latest top 40 and a bit of "common niche" albums (like the usual suspects when it comes to classic music or classic rock) were easy to find. But black and death metal? Not a chance.

I wasn't even living in the middle of nowhere, mind. Just a fairly populous suburb of a major European city. But as a teenager, it was extremely unpractical to travel to the city center, and to even learn about the stores where this music would be sold.

With piracy or Spotify, that issue evaporates.

And actually, Spotify is much better. Because it's much quicker and practical to just search Spotify and click play, than it is to browse dubious trackers, not knowing if or when I might get my download. Plus, with Spotify connect, they can be sure I won't be cancelling my plan anytime soon.

Spotify absolutely fit an access problem dead on: They're subscription, unless you can tolerate ads and various limitations*. Limits like not being able to control exactly what you're listening to (no beginning to end playback of albums, only shuffle), ads every 3-5 songs, playlists that were originally capped and again, only available on shuffle.

iTunes didn't improve on the physical store model any further than "now you don't have to get out of you chair to get new music." The DRM that wrapped around most tracks was frustrating enough for most people that the cost of the album didn't matter, you were better off going to a physical store, buying the physical CD, ripping it using iTunes to unencumbered ALAC/AAC and using it with iTunes or with other devices and apps.

Sure, people still used iTunes, but more for the fact that it was HEAVILY integrated with the Hot Shit Object, the iPod.

Spotify removed the barrier at the right time to succeed in the market. If you wanted to listen to Albums, you paid. But it was there, easy, no questions. You could just pop in and listen to That Single that just came out.

Most people who wanted ad-free music are going to be willing to pay for it. The rest, who are fine with radio-ish "I want to listen to the current top40" are fine with ads. It took Apple quite a while to come to near that, and they Only have a subscription model that isn't very well liked by its users.

Not entirely - one problem I had with piracy, and I did it from the 90’s on, was finding new music. Spotify opened up catalogs with algorithms that piracy never could. Short of going to Strawberry’s and looking around… for cds to copy from friends, piracy never really had that same Spotify algo service that said “if you like this you’ll like that.”

Another thing to consider is that there is so much more music today than 20 years ago in the Napster era. There has been an explosion in content creation, as the means of production have become ever-more accessible, and it all accumulates over time, so the older stuff never goes away. The supply of music only ever increases, and naturally when the supply of something increases so dramatically, we would expect the price to go down.

What about demand? We are certainly listening to more music than ever before, and the population is growing, but not at the 10x or 100x rate that has happened to the supply of music. There’s an upper limit of 24 hours per day listening time per person. There is already more music than it is possible to listen to in a lifetime. Soon there will be more good music than it is possible to listen to in a lifetime.

I wonder if we're moving back to an older way of consuming music where many or most people have musical ability and play for themselves and family. Perhaps not quite to that degree but you're more likely to know several people who create music and share it without being or expecting to be a musician by trade.

I personally listen to less music and play more. Rather than looking for the new thing I'll examine songs in quite a lot of detail to understand them.

For me, Spotify and similar services offer me better curated playlists. I have a lot of music on a Plex server and I still almost always use YouTube music because curation and dynamically generated, good playlist; and because the “radio to ownership” pipeline can be annoying when I’m running or whatever

Here's an example:

I believe in supporting those who create media, and don't mind at all paying for streaming services that provide quality content for a fair price. As such, I happily subscribe to Amazon Prime (with several "add on" channels), Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. Then one day I decided, "hell, I think Peacock TV has some stuff I might want to watch." So I signed up for a paid account, like any other good law-abiding citizen might.

A couple of days later I finally got around to logging in and trying to watch something, only to be met by some bizarre error message. Which led me to find out that Peacock doesn't support playback on Linux. Which sent me down a rabbit-hole of trying to find some kind of way to make it work nonetheless. After a couple of days of futzing around with everything I could think of short of running Windows in a VM (and including going as far as running Android in a VM) I gave up and cancelled my paid account.

What makes it all the more galling is how their support lines lie and say "We're always working to add support for more platforms" when the reality is, there have (from online accounts I've read) at times in the past been workarounds that let Peacock work on Linux... and they have systematically identified and blocked all of them. It would be one thing if any other major streaming service had a similar policy, or if Peacock had a position of "we don't officially support Linux, so it might work or it might not". But this is different. It's an active, hostile, intentional effort to block Linux users.

Anyway, that's what I'd call a "service problem". As far as I can tell, there is no amount of money I can pay Peacock that will let me use their service. So not a "pricing problem".

In conclusion, I will now return to using Bittorrent or other mechanisms to pirate any Peacock content I find interesting. Fuck 'em, I tried to pay the fuckers and they didn't want to play ball.

But that's the case with the others, too. I'm not familiar with HBO, Disney and Hulu, but Prime and Netflix don't allow you to watch high-def content on Linux.

Hell, even on Windows with their app, Prime won't let you watch more that HD. For UHD, you need their stick or some other device. [0]

Netflix supports UHD on computers, but only on some browsers, of which Chrome is not one [1].

But, to your point about Peacock, at least they do work on Linux, as in you'll get some sort of image.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=...

[1] https://help.netflix.com/en/node/23742

but Prime and Netflix don't allow you to watch high-def content on Linux.

I don't know (or care) about "high-def" but I can assure you that Prime and Netflix work just fine on Linux.

Netflix supports UHD on computers

That's not really relevant to me. I don't care about UHD, I just care about being able to watch. I'm not that picky.

Peacock, on the other hand, doesn't work at all.

A service problem is when the media mafia refuses to sell me files that I can keep. I'd like to open some website and pay 15 bucks for a movie (the same as I'd buy for a recent bluray in a store) where I'm then allowed to just download a .mkv that I can throw on my nas. Major streaming sites refuse to serve me content with resolution higher that 480p (I think?) because my computer obeys me and not them. Sure looks great on the big screen in my living room.

Netflix and friends won’t even reliably serve me 4K, even once you’ve jumped through all the hoops (sufficient network speed, right OS, right browser/application, 4K source content, the expensive plan, a screen capable of 4K etc).

Meanwhile in pirating land:

Pick your desired resolution, want 8/10 bit HDR? You can have that too. Pick your desired format. Downloads quickly, don’t have to worry about network interruptions.

I think it's 720p but yea, it's why I will never pay for Netflix and I often pirate stuff that's available on there despite having access to my mother's account. I've not pirated games since I was a teenager, because Steam is such a good service, and I'm happy to pay for games. Meanwhile I constantly bring up how much better my media consumption experience is because I pirate high quality movies and shows instead of the drivel that online media providers offer

> I've not pirated games since I was a teenager, because Steam is such a good service, and I'm happy to pay for games.

I'm happy to pay for games too, but I've stopped buying from Steam unless they're not available elsewhere. GOG has been my go-to, as they only sell games without DRM.

If Valve someday goes belly-up, or just decides to stop running their license servers, all those games we've bought on Steam are just gone, absent (illegal, in the US, anyway) third-party tools to strip the DRM. I believe some versions of Stream DRM can be removed, but not all.

I just don't see the need to reward a company that treats me like a criminal when I can get the same games from a company that respects me and my purchase.

(Bonus: Steam-the-software even allows you to add non-Steam games to the app, which makes it easy to run non-native games I've bought from GOG under Proton, for example.)

The key point for me with valve is their ongoing efforts to make software they license to me easier for me to use. This is completely opposed to the rest of the media industry, who are working exclusively to make my experience worse. Thanks to valves efforts I can now easily run many games that would've been windows only a few years ago.

Valve also currently sells the best handheld console on the market.

> Major streaming sites refuse to serve me content with resolution higher that 480p (I think?) because my computer obeys me and not them.

This nonsense directly lead to my permanent cancellation of Amazon Prime. It's infuriating to be treated like a second-class citizen even as a paying customer.

For me pirating "services" (torrent trackers, Usenet, etc.) simply offer better choices.

For mainstream content it's available around the globe, in all kinds of different formats / bitrates, with community sourced subtitles, usable on any device (hw performance limitations notwithstanding) and in my possession forever after downloading should I choose to keep the content.

Another service improvement on piracy is better availability of more obscure content. Live shows, foreign movies/music or anything out of the mainstream is usually accessible better when you're pirating content.

The only content class traditional media companies and online streaming offers a better service for is live broadcasting, and even then geographical restrictions f*ck you over depending on the licensing agreements.

Pricing means you pirate media because you dont want to pay for it.

Service problems means you pirate stuff because it's too inconvenient to do it legally, and easier to pirate stuff.

For many people the "free" price of piracy still will not justify the hassle of finding torrent sites, going through fake releases and warez. They would just pay some number of dollars if that process is frictionless and gets them what they want.

But when paying for it and maintaining access for what you paid becomes more complex than pirating, then you have a service problem that can't be solved by pricing.

People pirates because it's the simplest way to obtain what they want, and not because it's the cheapest.

Basically, that people aren't nudged to pirate content because they don't want to pay or the price is too high, but rather because the quality of service for trying to be legitimate is so poor.

Simple - a service problem can't be fixed with more money

e.g. a lot of times no assortment of streaming subscriptions will get you access to certain shows/films/games. sometimes they may be out of print on disc as well. there may be no actual legal way to access that content. but piratebay is right there...

A pricing problem would be where media/subscription costs are higher than people are willing/able to pay.

A service problem would be where the service or app is too complex or time consuming to use, or has a lot of friction during use (as was the case in the original post).

> Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem.

It’s both. I can go on Steam and find a fun looking game that can range from $0 to $100. There’s no minimum spend. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on “cheap” games and nothing on movies or music.

There's a language issue which has not been tackled by regulators and which is actually the mere definition of what happens when I choose to "buy" or "purchase" something.

This is because until recently (by the timescale of "buying things") there were no intangibles to be bought or sold. An intangible is mostly a right to something - in other words, it's paperwork.

But some things are both tangible and intangible, i.e. that copy of the movie you have on your computer.

That's when the regulator should have stepped in to make precise use of words: you are decidedly not "buying" or "purchasing" a movie from Google Movies. You can only be "renting" it, on Google's terms, albeit long term.

Regulators should mandate the use of the word renting as soon as there is no tangible copy that you can use independently of the company that "sold" -- actually, "leased" -- whatever you "bought" from them.

Totally agree with this.

When you buy something it's your property that you own and you can sell it to someone else if you want.

When you rent something it's still owned by someone else restricting what you can do with it.

In my mind it's fraud to pretend to sell a thing when you are in fact renting it out.

Maybe something for EU to regulate next!

There are multiple cases going through the courts in multiple countries around this.

The one i have in mind is in France (UFC Que Choisir vs Steam iirc) but i know there are others.

From time to time, someone look at these, read the judge opinion, realise how much it would change the web economy out there, write a panicked piece... Then swiftly erase it from their memory because it is a tad too big to think through.

"Calling a cat, a cat", as we say in French: I really do not see what anyone would lose just putting the right words on each action -- and it's not even very difficult to define.

Can the user use the thing mostly without the provider? Yes = purchase, no = rental.

If all of sudden it's all "rentals" everywhere, what does it change -- apart from opening up an avenue for the people willing to actually sell the things they would otherwise lease, because consumers will prefer it that way?

It changes because what was sold as "buying" need to fulfill the promises too. It is not only long term.

Did you bought a game on Steam? Now they have to give you a lot of rights they were not allowed to give you. And still are not.

Check out Andino v. Apple too if you haven't already!

The action taken by the user is still "buying", the confusion comes from legacy when the industry was pretending that you are not buying a song or movie but a cassette or a disk.

See, back in the they when you purchased something physical like a VHS tape, that was useful mental model because it resembled the purchase of bread or tomatoes.

Then people started finding ways to reproduce the contents of these physical objects for re-sell or distribution without a license and the illusion of purchasing physical songs and movies fell apart.

People would argue that piracy is not stealing because the original still remained in its place.

Today we experience the act of purchasing a movie or a song in much purer form. No more charade trying to make it look like as if you are purchasing avocados, you get exactly what you are paying for: the right to enjoy the media in the medium.

People no longer can pretend that they purchased Die Hard 3 and they own the movie and they can do whatever they want with it. The producer(and those who hold the rights) still own the movie, you just pay to enjoy it in the form you paid for and you can't do anything else with it.

You don't even own the right to watch it the way you want, just because you payed for a ticked and watched in the movie theater doesn't give you the right to watch it on iTunes or Netflix. You pay for each medium.

> The action taken by the user is still "buying"

technically correct, sure. letter vs spirit of the law.

You are buying a license to watch the movie. You are not renting it.

I don't think any average consumer, when they click a "Buy" button next to the movie they want to watch, understands that they are only buying a license to watch the movie. Most believe it's just like buying a Bluray disc, but "on the computer".

And yes, I know people are restricted in what they can do with Bluray discs, but as long as you have a functioning player, you can watch the disc. I think that's all anyone has ever expected out of physical media. DRM'd digital media comes with much more uncertainty, and that should be reflected in the terminology used to "buy a license" for it.

And as long as you have a functioning YouTube "player" you can watch the movies you've purchased from Google. It's the same thing.

If that were true this article wouldn't have been written.

I would guess you're right, and that one could take Google to court over not being able to exercise said right instead of trying to reword buttons. Breach of contract on Google's side. Except the contract probably has small print saying that they're not responsible for software bugs, have no obligation to support your particular device and that any past performance does not bestow entitlement yada yada yada. Sounds like fun and just in time for christmas (referring to OP's story).

Or we agree that such a set of conditions constitutes renting rather than 'owning' as one typically does after 'buying'.

Genuinely not sure which option has more downsides.

Those aren't exclusive -- isn't renting an example of "buying a license"?

But I would be okay if they had to change the misleading "Buy Movie" to a phrase like "Buy a Limited License to Watch Movie". Or "Buy Limited Access to Movie".

Personally, I think those would be overly verbose for how buying movies has worked since they were invented. Consumers are already well aware that buying a movie only grants them a license.

You’re buying a license that can be revoked at the seller’s discretion without refund though. Imagine buying a blu-ray and suddenly you can’t play it anymore because your Google account got banned for whatever reason. I started reading Kafka and it sound like one of his stories.

The use of "buy" for what is more a rental is not really new. For example people have as long as I can remember talked of buying seats at shows and sporting events, even though they are actually only getting the use of that seat for one specific performance or game.

yep, I've actually thought about this.

I think it should be a finable offense for a company to use verbiage that implies ownership when in fact it's licensing.

I said it before, but I'll repeat myself: For digital possessions, we need a clearing house. Everyone offering music, videos, etc. for sale or long-term rent, needs to register a digital copy in a standardized format with said clearing house. Every sale has to be registered there as well. Whenever the seller disables DRM or does locks out the buyer in any other way (not supporting new or old devices, closing down accounts, whatever), the clearinghouse will handout a copy to the buyer. The usage of the clearing house will be mandated by law.

I like this idea, and after copyright expires[1], the clearing house should also seed the work as a torrent for all to access.

[1] While we're dreaming, make copyright 20 years.

This isn't the problem, it would actually make this problem worse. The issue here is long-term device support which google is negligent about.. take away their vendor lock in and the whole platform stops making financial sense at any level of quality.

Are you saying that selling music/movies/ebooks/etc doesn't make financial sense without DRM and control? What about the history of vinyl, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, bandcamp, DRM-free ebooks, GOG games, etc?

To be fair, both DVDs and Blurays have DRM on them. Of course, DVD's DRM has been broken for quite some time. For Bluray, older discs are rippable, but it's a cat-and-mouse game as old keys are revoked and new keys distributed for newer releases.

While I agree with you that some creators do believe they can still make a living with DRM-free content, many do not, which includes essentially anything from a major movie or TV studio.

I doubt it's about what the creators themselves believe or want...

It is the problem. Removing device support is akin to revoking the license. Google sold this license, demands some harsh conditions on devices and DRM but then doesn't care about keeping up its own part of the deal.

Imagine buying a car just to figure out that a couple of years later you can't fill it up anymore, because "that particular model of inlet is not supported any longer." You are not allowed to change the inlet.

* cough * Blockchain * cough *

* cough * Doesn't * cough * solve * cough * anything * cough *

It's even worse on youtube. I used to save songs/videos on youtube playlist but they randomly started vanishing. Google doesn't even provide the name of the content it removed so we can search it again. Even worse, some songs actually got replaced by another version (i think due to copyright issues).

The result is I started downloading everything I loved and "liking" the content to track what I already have. There's still some duplicates but overall I retain all the videos I want. [Don't need YT premium now]

After that I downloaded mp4 to mp3 converters and stored the result in a cloud [Don't need Spotify Premium now].

Movies, TV Shows, Games, Mobile Apps, Books, Research paper are all piratable. OTT pulls episode out of air frequently and I don't like someone telling me what I should watch. [Don't need Netflix, OTTs now].

Steam is an exception since I think they really earn their 30% cut.

From the money I save, I buy/donate it to actual content I consumed and liked or software that actually help in ownership such as VLC, archive.org, overpriced merch etc. I'm supporting the revenue starved pirate community this way. Also, This means the money actually reaches the developers instead of a fat cut by the middlemen.

Paying for what you like instead of what you consume means you're supporting great work rather than spraying all works with equal money.

Anything you store in a cloud service, especially a free cloud service, is at best a cached copy. It's there for ease and speed of access, but has no guarantee of durability whatsoever.

Don't make a free cloud service your source of truth. (Paid, too, unless you just pay for compute and storage.)

If you care about any data, have it under your control, stored on machines / media under your (physical) control. All else can and will disappear without notice.

Try listening to old playlists you saved or created on Spotify. It's "interesting".

I just logged in to Spotify for the first time in about two years and checked out a few playlists I had saved. Most of them skipped every song. Absolutely ridiculous.

Isn’t the actual problem still nonsensical anti piracy DRM/requirements pushed by studios and that any distributor will have to try to implement to sell the movie in the first place?

I’m not justifying the absolutely garbage user experience here though.

Personally: I refuse to buy digital movies on any platform because it’s deceptive marketing. You can never actually “buy”, only rent. So I go for that option if I really have to. If pirating is easier than paying (which on appletv is just one click) then you have failed and I will rather pirate it instead.

I would be far more inclined to pay to watch recently released movies on iTunes, except that for the first few weeks the considerably more expensive “buying” the movies is the only option and rental only comes much later, essentially they want to charge you extra for earlier access. Screw that, I’ll pirate instead until they stop that crap.

> The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It's by giving those people a service that's better than what they're receiving from the pirates.

I know this quote gets thrown around whenever we talk about piracy, but there is a reason it resonates so well with everyone.

I might have multiple streaming subscriptions and I still occasionally get blu-rays and DVDs, but I still prefer my Radarr+Jellyfin setup to download "Linux ISOs". It automatically syncs the progress with Trakt, and it automatically fetches anything I add to my watchlist almost instantly.

I've known more than one music studio owner in the past who used a cracked Cubase despite owning a legal license because their anti-privacy dongles created lots of compatibility problems. The pirated copy simply worked better.

Yep. I've worked in places that paid Allen Bradley tens of thousands of dollars a year but actually only used a pirate copy someone had downloaded in 2004.

Haha, I meant "anti-piracy". Freudian slip.

I am proud to say I don't use a single google service, and haven't in years. Now, if someone sends me a YouTube link, I watch it (in an invidious instance, of course) and I use some metasearch engines which rely on google to a large degree, hut I don't have a google account, I use no google services, have no google applications installed anywhere.

The same applies to Meta and Microsoft as well, and some others. I have a general rule, if a company does something, anything at all, that translates to "fuck you what are you going to do about it you need us more than we need you" then I cease using all their services immediately, no matter how painful. Require me to sign in to use a local application? Demand updates and install them automatically, or prevent me from continuing until I update? Bye, forever. This means I don't have a video game console of any kind, I often get my emails sent to spam, I do quite a bit of my own user infrastructure maintenance, and my experience is alien to a lot of other people, but let me tell you, I'm free and I feel it 24/7. My mind is free from worry about losing access to these things, I don't think about what I am allowed to say, almost ever, I'm not subject to attempts to manipulate my behavior nearly as often, I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone, no matter how difficult. I've got a secret for you: it's only difficult because you've been trained to do things their way for so long. Their way is not actually easier or more convenient, you're just not used to the other way any more. But you used to be, there used to be a time when they couldn't treat you this way, they still can't unless you let them, they've spent enormous resources convincing you that you don't have a choice, but you do, they need you more than you need them, you don't have to take this abuse, stop giving your patronage to companies who treat you like this or none of this will ever get any better.

>I am proud to say I don't use a single Google service, and haven't in years.

>... I use no Google services...

>I have a general rule, if a company does something, anything at all, that translates to "fuck you what are you going to do about it you need us more than we need you" then I cease using all their services immediately, no matter how painful.

>Bye, forever.

>... stop giving your patronage to companies who treat you like this or none of this will ever get any better.

That's all well and good, except:

>Now, if someone sends me a YouTube link, I watch it (in an invidious instance, of course) and I use some metasearch engines which rely on Google to some degree...

So much for ceasing the "use of all their services immediately". All of your "I'm above the system"/holier than thou rhetoric falls flat on it's face. You still give them patronage. Great job cutting a lot of it out, I'm not trying to take that away, but maybe be a bit more humble and honest?

You are trying to take that away. I have cut every vestige of every one of these companies out of my life except google, which the only thing I have left is, when someone sends me a link to a website owned by them, I pipe through a proxy and rip the content. I want it to be all or nothing, and I've gone to great lengths to make it so, but a video is a video and a video host is a video host in my mind, for purposes of consumption.

FYI I have created a tool to break this dependency also, https://codeberg.org/mister_monster/YouTube2Peertube it enables the content on YouTube to be mirrored elsewhere, and a good number of people use it, but not near enough.

As far as search goes, the truth is I find myself using search less and less in general, because it is mostly broken, but when I do I default to independent indexes like marginilia, brave (which isn't 100% independent yet), even yandex sometimes, but find myself sometimes using a metasearch engine like ddg or metager and so in that way one step removed I do use google search every so often.

I'm sorry, but if you use youtube, you are using Google services.

But good on you for avoiding their services, i do the same (however, i still use Google maps regularly for navigation because Apple maps has let me down too often). I also watch youtube.

Regarding video game consoles, you could get an older one that has no cloud connectivity. They are cheap and the games are still great.

He mentioned Invidious, which is an alternate frontend to youtube: https://invidious.io/

Basically the same as the search engines he mentioned that rely on google, but he doesn't use google directly.

Try OSM. It is more reliable than google in performance now, believe it or not.

Address lookup is a shortcoming, and there's this https://github.com/pnoll1/osmand_map_creation to help you get around that, and sometimes the routing algorithm used by Osmand in particular can be goofy from time to time, I can't speak to other clients. Finally, there's traffic, which is not a problem that can be resolved without collecting and processing data from all users, which I find unethical and so will live without.

I applaud you. I do my best as well using Linux whenever I can and having all my email on Zoho. I struggle with finding a solution for sharing photos via mobile. The whole family is in Apple ecosystem. I feel that if I don't want to spend enormous amount of time on setting up, securing and maintaining systems that I need to use big names solutions.

Have you tried using ente[1] for sharing photos?

Disclosure: founder here.

You can share albums via links, and you can even allow your family to add photos[1] to your albums. They don't need an account or an app. All your photos are stored in original quality, e2ee.

If you've feedback, please let me[3] know, would love to understand what we can do better.

[1]: https://ente.io

[2]: https://ente.io/blog/collect-photos

[3]: vishnu[at]ente.io

I use Filerun, self-hosted, pretty easy to setup

Apple is very different to Google.

Some services are impossible to use without Google et Al. Thankfully, people from around the world will create and run an account for you cheaply. Data privacy for you, hot meals for them.

Thank God the new AI product is not Google's

Well, I think they're talking about tools like tensor flow.

Personally I dont consider open source codebases that don't come with services embedded as services, so things like Blink or AOSP that are made by google are fine, so long as they don't interact with google in any way or incorporate patterns that lead you into their funnel. They're FOSS code, not services, you might as well be running a fork, it doesn't really matter who makes them. I do use some software that is forked from google upstream code that removes these sorts of things, but I go to great lengths to make sure even simple things like using are not occurring.

> She has a copy of it I got on google play for her which she can play on her tablet.

> So I pirate the movie (please don't arrest me, it's google's fault).

Is it pirated if you already own a legally valid license?

How about rips of blu-rays you own, which you solely use and do not intend to share? Is that pirating or using your legally owned product on a different medium?

>Is it pirated if you already own a legally valid license?

I imagine it depends on who you talk to. If you talk to the company lawyers, they'll say it's illegal and you need to pay up. If you talk to a different lawyer that believes in better IP rights, they'll tell you it's not illegal but hasn't been tested in a court of law.

Ultimately, the only way to know if something is illegal, in the US, is to do the possibly-illegal act, then get yourself sued for it (or worse, arrested, since some IP violations can be prosecuted criminally), so that it can be decided in a court of law whether it's actually illegal or not. Once a court precedent has been set, then we know if something is truly illegal or not. Though this can change if another case ends up with the court (usually a higher court) throwing out the precedent.

Feels like there should be a precedent along these lines by now. Do these cases get settled so commonly that none covering this type of case have been ruled on yet?

There have been multiple. It is considered illegal**

** This is here to point out that it being illegal can be interpreted in multiple ways. Some steps of the process have not been covered. Like "is writing everywhere that i allow you to buy a thing or possess it but only give you a temporary licence to play it under TOS and EULA that you cannot physically read legal?"

What constitutes this "type of case" and are you confident a judge won't create a new distinction separating this one from previous ones?

The most famous case decided in consumers' favor was about recording tapes from TV broadcasts to watch at a different time. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Corp._of_America_v._Uni....

You can make the argument that any precedent might not apply to a new case due to a distinction being made. The nature of precedents seems to be that they are a set of basic facts, a judgement, and only a guide as to how future cases might be considered. Of course every case is unique in some ways that may or may not matter.

"using your legally owned product on a different medium" You're refering to format shifting[1]. Legality will vary differently between jurisdictions, but there are rulings in the UK making it illegal for personal use so there's that.

Ripping blu-rays, most likely means getting around AACS which is probably illegal under DMCA. See 17 U.S. Code § 1201 and some rulings[2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Format_shifting [2] https://www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/

In the US, circumventing DRM includes "avoid" and "bypass", so I'd guess it does violate this: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/1201 (though I wouldn't call it pirating).

> How about rips of blu-rays you own, which you solely use and do not intend to share? Is that pirating or using your legally owned product on a different medium?

This is protected fair use. But distributing software to decrypt DVD DRM is illegal.

Not sure if DeCSS is still illegal but the OP was talking about blu-rays and they are ... "less hacked".

When this happen, I do just download the movie (or book or music) illegally. I bought it, I own it, and companies trying to not let me have it despite that should expect this.

I do that too (but i skip the first step).

I bought a copy of Count Zero on the Kindle Store.

Halfway through reading, it refuses to open on my Kindle. Deleting the book and re-downloading it results in the same thing. I update the software, still nothing. No amount of time spent troubleshooting suggestions from Amazon, Reddit, etc. change a thing about the situation. There is literally no way to open the book that I legally paid for on my Kindle hardware that I legally paid for.

Maybe I can buy another Kindle and cross my fingers that the bug doesn't show up there, but this Kindle isn't even old. I bought it in 2019 and the battery life is still excellent.

Guess what I did after that with Count Zero and every other book I ever bought on the Kindle Store just in case?

I still pirate movies - despite being able to afford them now - just because the experience is so much more pleasant. There's a file, you can open a file with the media player. Simple. No crapware, no phoning home to the internet.

Feel zero guilt about it.

Unfortunately it looks like the kind of person who prefers a file over an app with a magical cloud is becoming more and more rare as apps erode the very notion of such concepts.

It's like trying to explain to your aunt that "the fediverse is like email" when email itself might as well be a Google service for most people.

There's way too much gnashing on teeth on HN about what the masses prefer, or what's popular.

I'm a technical user. On a website full of technical users. We really should stop considering their needs over our own even in recreational discussions.

I was making a point about "despite being able to afford". I really would like to support the things I enjoy. But aside from a lot of people extracting value between artists and commercial art, I also have almost no ability to pay for the media I consume without being forced into a hellish ecosystem. And that's a result of everyone around us having the notion being able to "own" media erased from their expectations.

Hell, sometimes something isn't available in my region through any legal means.

I remember reading an article about younger generations not knowing what a file is (or a folder).

I purchases a movie on Apple TV (I think it was "Men up" a comedy with Simon Pegg) and after purchase it said I could not play it on my MacBook - the device I purchased it from - as my MacBook 2020 did not support the right flavour of DRM.

> Google is contributing to the destruction of the concept of ownership, as are many services of the modern age.

Imo this is the important thing here. Eroding "I buy, I own" and replacing it with "I buy, I own until seller says otherwise" is nefarious.

Giving Google, Apple, and so forth the benefit of doubt and a cop-out with "it's a language problem" is not the way. Surely they can afford linguists and user-study-groups to find a phrasing that better conveys the idea.

The thing is, pessimist as I can be, I think they already have done that and came out with the idea that "we don't want to convey that notion, we can price it higher if we call it 'buy'".

This to me is similar to planting ideas like plastic recycling, or the individuals carbon footprint, in the consumer mind. It displaces the responsibility away from companies doing the best _they_ can.

If you don't have a file or physical media, assume that you're renting, no matter what the company calls it.

This has certainly been discussed albeit not widely, but you do not own data. You do not buy digital movies. You don't own it, whether or not you paid for it and whether or not you have a file containing that data, with DRM or not.

You pay to enter into a contract to obtain a license to do things using the data, under the legal system for your jurisdiction.

Hypothetically, if people could be trusted to follow the law or the law could be enforced practically, it would be fine if all digital media were widely available. You could obtain the data, but being a law-abiding citizen, you would not play it without having obtained a license to do so.

Thus, the current state of affairs is really just the reductive case of the prisoners dilemma combined with society's decision that content creators deserve to be paid for their work (a tangential discussion on copyright as a concept).

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