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Internet, Tech & Science, Technology

All the hoopla surrounding the SOPA bill last month taught us one thing: You can’t fight the Internet.

And while Google was correct in saying that SOPA would censor the web, that’s not what this was all about. We live in an on-demand society. We want our media now. We’re a bunch of filthy content addicts and we don’t care if our drug is illegal or not.

And just like the War on Drugs, this battle is endless; shut down one dealer, we’ll just shrug and call our other guy.

But according to the Daily Herald, it doesn’t have to be that way. Movie studios and recording companies don’t have to lose money with this deal. They simply need to innovate.

Going back to the drug analogy, legalizing free-media is essentially the same as legalizing marijuana. As the laws currently stand, nobody wins accept the black market players. The buyers lose because the product they receive is inferior. The content creators lose because their product is being ripped off by a middle man. So why not legalize the content, sell quality product on the creator’s site, and cut out the middle man?

Many of the smarter content creators have already taken this path. The Emmy winning satirical cartoon South Park offers all of its episodes for free at At first, Comedy Central was a bit reluctant to make this move. But then the studio realized attempts to stop pirating were futile, as new sites went up faster than old ones fell.

And while these types of trends caused many executives to cringe, South Park saw them as opportunity. Subsequently, Comedy Central created their own streaming service with higher quality videos paired with advertising, just like Television. Not surprisingly, consumers were drawn to the higher quality videos, and traffic to the studio sponsored site surged.

Although other television networks have borrowed the South Park model, the music industry hasn’t had the same luck. Sure sites like Pandora stream music for free with the help of advertising. But streaming a particular genre isn’t the same as streaming a particular song.

If a person of Generation X wants to hear a certain song, he/she is going to find it on YouTube. And when he/she finds it, which they will, the artist isn’t going to directly benefit. But they may benefit indirectly because the song itself serves as an advertisement. And that’s why musicians should just accept free music on YouTube.

More and more of the nation’s young people want to see their favorite artists live. Socialite Seymour Kushner claims that he’s willing to pay three times the price of an album for a concert ticket. Kushner says this is because he “loves to hear music in its purest, unadulterated form – live.” And this trend is growing in nearly every city across America.

So here’s the solution to the piracy problem: Innovation.

Film studios should stop trying to police the web. Instead, they should stream high quality videos accompanied with advertisements (like TV has done for the past six decades). Movies are a different subject, but anybody who streams Avatar from a torrent website is an idiot.

Most of today’s movies are all about incorporating 3-D and IMax effects. And these effects only come across the right way in the theater. As far as music is concerned, the age of the mega-rich rock star are coming to a close. Like everything else, the music industry is becoming localized. And those looking to make a living off music are going to need to rely off of shows. The songs themselves should be available for free, as promotional material for shows.

That’s just my opinion. And if you don’t like it, that’s okay. Because you can’t stop the Internet, and this trend is inevitable.

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