Steal this idea.

00.49.39 - Mark

It's no secret that if you create something, it can and probably will be pirated. Doesn't matter if you're a bottom rung blogger getting ripped off by spamblogs or a major studio who had a work copy stolen and placed onto bittorrent. The bottom rung blogger most likely will never know that their content was ripped, but we all know the studios and record labels love suing the pants off everyone they can find.

The question becomes, what if you "pirate" this content, and then offer fair reimbursement directly to a studio. Would they accept it, or add your name to the defendants list on the next round of lawsuits?

Fair prices for digital content have already been established, $.99 for that song you can't get out of your head, $10 for the rare album with more than one track worth listening to, $2 for last night's episode of Heroes, $5 or so for each summer blockbuster you want to download - maybe $7 if it's still in theaters.

Now send off a check (or some other traceable form of payment) for that amount, plus maybe some for those copies you gifted your anonymous friends online (based on how much of the file you shared), and see if they cash the check.

If the studio takes your money, hurray, there's some merit to those incessant anti-piracy notices after all. If not, then we get to start asking why the networks falsely claim that they're concerned with the livelihood those who create the content, or why they don't want people paying for and enjoying the company's content in a way that benefits the consumer.

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A BSA the BSA would be proud of

00.46.19 - Mark

I'm going to preface this with the fact that I am a Scout. Eagle rank and I've spent three wonderful summers working at a nearby Boy Scout camp.

I'm also an avid computer user and proudly release works under creative commons because I feel that copyright law in this country and around the world is very horribly corrupted by groups like the MPAA, RIAA, and Business Software Alliance. I regularly use what thouse groups would consider "Piracy Tools" like bittorrent and other peer to peer networks.

The idea of the Boy Scouts of America being used to combat piracy by the MPAA and RIAA absolutely disgusts me.

On the local levels scouting is a wonderful thing. It teaches valuable life skills, helps youth find subjects and hobbies that can lead to careers, and in some areas does a better job of educating kids than public schools. Not to mention giving back to the community.

While I severly disagree with the national scouting organization on matters like allowing "gays" and atheists to participate in scouting I'll live with the fact that it is a private club (by some definitions at least). But allowing industry associations to exploit it for commercial gain is far beyond reason. What's next product endorsements in Salesmanship merit badge and partisan politics in Citizenship in the Nation?

Sometimes scouting actually deserves the bad reputation it has developed in today's culture.

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