Piracy, the better choice for consumers.

cd_locked.jpgExcellent opinion piece from the INQUIRER

HD disk format wars are over

By Charlie Demerjian

THE NEXT GENERATION disk format has been settled once and for all. Thanks to the due diligence, hard work and unprecedented cooperation between the media companies, the hardware vendors and the OS vendor, we finally have a solution. It is quite easy, Piracy, the better choice ™.

Yes, in a year where Sony rootkitted it’s customers, lied to my face about their actions (hi John, still have your number, kisses), and fell flat with anything related to Blu-Ray, things couldn’t get worse right? Well, the other camp, HD-DVD is only slightly less nasty, but still unacceptable. Standing shoulder to shoulder, they both failed in the market.

In the end, every step in this chain of consumer woe that is Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, Live, VIIV, HDCP, MCE and Vista is flopping. And that is where the better choice comes in. The consumers have voted with their dollars, and are staying away in droves. All the walls of the walled gardens are being built higher and higher, with the occasional brick landing on the head of someone who pulls out a credit card. Buy now, there is a brick with your name on it whistling down, operators are standing by.

In the mean time, Piracy, the better choice ™ flourishes. If you take 10 minutes to look around, you will see that every HD movie is now available on P2P networks. I haven’t bothered to get one, so I can’t comment on the quality, but it sure looks like availability is there. What was an underground clique in the 1980s and 1990s has become mainstream and so vastly much easier to do that it is laughable. Before the technology hits 1% market penetration it is comprehensively cracked and better for the consumer than the legit versions.

The lawsuits, threats, purchased governance and stern speeches could not prevent the children of Warner Music from pirating, the less moneyed masses are a lost cause. (Funny how he wasn’t sued though, kind of makes you wonder…) As of right now, anyone can get any music or movie they want, for free, much more easily than they can through legal DRM infected channels. Piracy, the better choice ™.

If you try and purchase any of this content, you descend into a DRM nightmare of incompatibility and legal mires. Your monitor will not work with your Blu-Ray drive because your PC decided that a wobble bit was set wrong. You just pissed away $6K on a player, media center PC and HD TV for nothing, you lose. The Warner CEOs kids have a nice new car to play their pirated CDs in though.

On the other hand, if you downloaded that content, in HD no less, you save the $1000 on the Blu-Ray player, $30 on the movie, and it works seamlessly out of the box. The available content is much higher with piracy, and it is quite on-demand. You don’t need to sign up, give them your details to be sold to marketers who call during dinner and spam you, you just get the content you want, when you want, how you want. There is no iTunes/Plays for (not) Sure incompatibility, it just works. Piracy, the better choice ™.

This is one of the best-written articles on the topic of modern day digital restrictions, DRM, and the true costs of such restrictions to the consumer, that I have read in quite some time. Be sure to read the whole article here.