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Old 10-10-2007, 03:42 PM   #181
NatCh
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I'm actually making very few value judgments here, I don't know why I can't get that across :-) People seem to think I'm in favor of a lot of things that I just see as realities.
I think today, you're explaining yourself pretty well, actually. At least I'm getting what you're saying better today than I was yesterday, but that could just be me.

One of the things you're running into is that it's a human reaction to want to reject things we don't like (denial). Also, our present human culture tends to want to treat everything as an opinion, even when it's a fact. The statement "Rocks are hard" would be less likely to meet with agreement, than with an extended discussion of how rocks can't be that hard or we'd never be able to cut them, for example.

About the only thing I can see that might make what you're saying clearer would be to say specifically that you see these things as coming realities, not things you're trying to make happen, and you've more or less done just that now.


So let me throw one more rock on the pile and say that it seems to me that your list above isn't so much things you want to be, or even believe should be, but rather realities you see as emerging or already emerged, with which we, as a society, will have to come to terms, and to figure out how to operate under, whether we like them or not.

Does that about sum it up, bingle?


From that perspective, I see two three discussion options:

1) discuss ways to deal with these perceived realities,
2) discuss whether these perceptions are indeed accurate, or
3) pretend that they're solely opinions and continue to debate why things shouldn't be the way you describe.


The root of it, as I see it, is that discussing how things should be is less helpful than exploring how to deal with the way things actually are, unless there is actually some hope of changing the way things are. But then I'm a pragmatic sort that way.
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #182
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As a photographer I agree 100%. Sorry guys but I need to eat. I don't have huge reserves that allow me to give stuff away and hope someone will take pity on me and slip be $20 now and again.
There are other types of creativity that are not protected by copyright, probably because it is much harder to copy them.

For example, suppose I design & build a totally unique house. Of course that would be news worthy so you might take a picture of my house and sell it to News Week. Then they might publish it in their magazine for the world to see. Now guess what. I can not legally copy that picture and use it in my local builder's newsletter because News Week owns the copyright. Everyone got compensation for my creative work but me because I am not protected.

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One of those downsides is a LOT of people who stop giving us information or entertainment, because there's nothing in it for them. That's a lot of loss.
Steve, some of that would not be too much of a loss, and definitely do not mean you. Of course opinions and tastes vary.
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:35 PM   #183
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Steve, some of that would not be too much of a loss, and definitely do not mean you. Of course opinions and tastes vary.
I appreciate that ... on the other hand, one person's c**p is another's High Art, and who are we to decide which is more worthy?

That's I guess why I don't look forward to any system that doesn't directly compensate the artist for their work, leaving it up to the public to "vote with their wallets" whether they like it or not. Any other system is only going to shut some people out of the opportunity to be artists, based on other people's subjective opinions of their worthiness, and thereby shutting out other potential supporters and patrons. It's putting art at the mercy of a few non-objective people/organizations, as opposed to allowing the public to decide for themselves. I can't see that as good for artistic expression.

Granted, if the available patrons decided my work was c**p, I could fall back on other skills, and still make a good living. But there are artists who wouldn't be so lucky.
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:43 AM   #184
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What we need are pricing structures. Ones that are reasonable and that the public will go for. Now if we have say ebooks priced at say $5.00 each for ones that are still in print and $3.50 for ones that are no longer in print, then that would work very well regardless of format of the paper edition. So if a hardcover comes out at $25 we still pay $5.00 for the ebook. It goes to paperback at $9.99 or $7.99 we still pay $5.00. So as long as you know the price up front, you can make a valued judgment.

CDs cost anywhere from $12.99-$19.99. If we priced them at $9.99 for a singe CD and and $12.99 for a double CD set, then I think more people would purchase CDs as opposed to downloading. Sale prices for a new CD could be $7.99 and $9.99 respectively and there we have it. Something that would would.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:15 AM   #185
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What we need are pricing structures...
It's an interesting concept, but rigid pricing falls apart when books aren't the same size. Do you expect people to want to pay the same for a 200-page book as for a 600-page book? Even CDs can greatly vary among the number of songs on them (40 minutes to an hour for a single CD)... should they cost the same?

Pricing structures may be okay, but better to be loosely based on percentages, for instance: Paperback priced at 50% of hardback cost; Out of print priced at 25%; E-book at 20%; etc.

I see this as being too democratizing for profiteers, though: Why should Joe Blow's book cost the same as Joe Famous' book? In the end, publishers probably wouldn't go for it.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:33 AM   #186
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Do you expect people to want to pay the same for a 200-page book as for a 600-page book?
Books are often priced the same for very different lengths. MM paperpacks usually go for ~$8 now, isn't it? And the price printed on the covers of the 300 pager and the 600 pager are often exactly the same.

David Weber's At All Costs is 912 pages lists at $7.99
Orson Scott Card's Empire at 368 pages also lists at $7.99

Info according to Amazon.com.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:04 PM   #187
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And everybody's okay with that? I know if someone tried to get me to pay $8.00 for a 300-page paperback, I'd pass. (Must be why I don't buy much these days...)

Well, fine, but I still think pricing structures have to be kept loose...
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:10 PM   #188
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Well, "okay" is probably an overstatement. It's the way it is, so short of marching on the publishing houses with torches and pitchforks ....
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:29 PM   #189
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I'm still not convinced that people won't pay for copies, even if the copies themselves are cheap or free to make.

Conversation overheard in an airport last night, between two young men: "...see, the problem is, I can't get a legal copy of The Wonder Years. I mean, I wish I could-- if they just had a notice saying 'send your paypal payment here,' that would be great. But they don't, so..."

The Baen model works. I really do think it will continue to work, and it would work for other authors and publishers as well. Maybe not everyone would pay for everything they download, but enough people would pay for enough content that I think the good content creators (and those wonderful editors who spend so many hours reading the slush pile) would still make as much as they do today. (This won't help the unemployed printing house employees, UPS/FedEx employees, etc.)

HarryT, one of the problems you've mentioned is that you've caught people actually selling your software on eBay. That, I think, should continue to be illegal and prosecutable. But for general purposes, I think the strategy I respect the most for software protection is the one that allows unregistered users to try software for 30 days, then flashes a notice up every time a program is run, delaying start for 10 seconds or so, with a reminder to pay for the software and instructions on how to do so. I've bought and paid for several programs that way myself -- not the ones I rarely use, but the ones I find myself using over and over again. But perhaps you're already doing this?
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:43 AM   #190
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But for general purposes, I think the strategy I respect the most for software protection is the one that allows unregistered users to try software for 30 days, then flashes a notice up every time a program is run, delaying start for 10 seconds or so, with a reminder to pay for the software and instructions on how to do so. I've bought and paid for several programs that way myself -- not the ones I rarely use, but the ones I find myself using over and over again. But perhaps you're already doing this?
I certainly am, yes .
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