Originally Posted by carld
How does taking a creator's work without paying for it benefit the creator? It only benefits the person taking it.
If that's the change you mean, I'd like to avoid it too.
That's not the change I mean. The change I mean is this: if a mechanism for exchanging content that we find out we don't like (immediately) after purchase were in place, we users would be more adventurous in our purchases of content (knowing that we can't go wrong); we would spend more money over media content; and would be much more satisfied with our media collections than we are now. Media companies, on the other side, would increase their earnings thanks to the increase in purchases. The only problem they will have will be in selling bad-quality content.
As I already wrote, if over my life I were given the possibility to get a sample of *any* book or record of my choice before buying, I would probably live in a warehouse full of them by now!
Moreover, I suppose that some of the illegal downloads of today are due to people who don't want to risk spending their money on something that they don't know if they will like. This portion (I can't really estimate what it's worth) of "piracy" would vanish. I read that the strongest "downloaders" seem to be also strong buyers of media content: if that's true, maybe such portion is not negligible.
Finally: I think that an exchange scheme such as the one I'm proposing would make consumers satisfied, instead of disgruntled, with media companies. The possibility of feeling "cheated" because we have found out that we have purchased content we don't like (an experience that all of us know all too well...) would vanish. And satisfied consumers are much less liable to turn to piracy than disgruntled ones.