Mauriat Miranda     mjmwired

Corporate Stranglehold on Technology

This was actually a response on Jeff's blog, but it got so long that I decided to post here instead. Anyways for anyone who doesn't know, more and more lawsuits are being given to peer-to-peer software companies and consumers alike. Even Apple is under pressure from the Industry to raise prices.

I'm normally much more passive on this topic, but lately I've been getting terribly frustrated at the obvious BS coming out of the likes of the Recording Industry and Motion Pictures Industry. They keep claiming that initial production costs keep media (CD, DVD, etc) prices high and that piracy compounds that. I don't get it really. CD's ARE NOT THAT EXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE. They've been around for 20 yrs, you think they would have figured it out by now. Look on Billboard's charts - CD's are still selling at their full (rediculous) price. Furthermore, outside of promotion costs, most movies CAN cover expenses at the box office - I remember paying $3.25 once upon a time. Fine it costs $10 now, and for the cost of a family set of tickets, you can purchase a handful of DVD's or a good boxset.

To me this boils down to money and politics. Obviously none of the bigwigs want their revenue streams interrupted and hence the best aproach is stifling competitive innovation via litigation. Money rules here. And, although I do beleive in capitalism, I also think that regulation is very important. But nobody is regulating tyrannical monsters like the RIAA and MPAA. Instead we have DMCA laws which give them MORE exclusive power. Even before that, both these groups could sue for copyright infringement, piracy, etc., -- only now the burden has been placed on the defendant (you and me) to defend ourselves, while they get unfair legal powers. Money rules the rule makers here.

And the Apple thing irks me further. I was never a fan of iTunes, but I did think that $0.99 was a *seemingly* fair compromise. Have you seen the price of a CD single? So if the distribution costs HAVE NOT RISEN, why should Apple have to raise prices? In fact I was waiting for them to go down a little in cost. Oh well. I am really behind Steve Jobs here, I really hope he sticks to his guns.

Something really needs to be done before the corporate stranglehold on technology spins out of control. The Clinton administration missed a great oppertunity for consumers, and I know now that the Bush administration has other priorities. So, maybe internet advocacy and a better educated populace will try to fight back, however futile that may seem.

Posted in: Philosophy, Politics,


  • Luis Ortiz on October 3, 2005 ~ 10:10 AM

    As Long as there are talanted people still left in this world, the corporate world will not win this un-winnable battle.

    It is now possible to back up all of our investments including video, audio, graphics, and software. If Corporate America would relax thier “EULAS” to be more flexible, then maybe, they would stop some of the file shareing that take place via IRC channels or P2P as well as torrent sites.

    I myself find it diffuclt to purchase several licences to install the same software on several home computers. Hence the reason I use Fecora 4.

    Microsoft makes “Crap” and calls it software. Some of the patches they release are almost as big as the software they initially sell. Why pay for something like that?

    I purchased a box set of the Eagles for $75.00 a couple of years ago. I backed up my cd’s and keep them in a safe place. I recently lost one of my cd’s and if I would have not backed up the initial investement, I would have been out of one cd. What do you think RIAA would tell me if I were to call them and offer to pay them a dollar for a replacment cd? It is they that force people to fend for themselves, by whatever means they can.

    As long as there are talanted people like Linuz and the rest of the opensource community Corporate America does not stand a chance. They must change thier way of thinking before we change ours.

  • Mauriat Miranda on October 3, 2005 ~ 12:12 PM

    I wish I had as much faith in Open Source and Linux as you do. I just don’t see the unity there as strong enough to fight off billion dollar industries. Time will tell.

  • Luis Ortiz on October 3, 2005 ~ 06:18 PM

    I do have faith in it. Look how far they have come since the first initial relase of Linux. Yea it may look like an Octupus with hundreds of tentacles reaching out but the Octupus or (2.6-Kernel) still remains the same for all of those tentacles them. Final thoughts.

    My final .02 cents [Linux, Google, Sun, OpenSource, Apache, php, mysql, etc.] will cater to the home everyday user. {BILLIONS OF US]

    Microsoft, will cater to the corporate world. [MILLIONS OF THEM]

    Apple will go down the road that Microsoft is traveling right now. Apple will have to deal with pirated software problam just like Microsoft and any other Software maker that caters to the Windows environment. I say that because soon we will be able to run Tiger OS X86 on an intel processor. This is possible now. [THE MARRIAGE WONT LAST]