Owning music soon to be illegal in the US
So, by this logic... if I transfer an MP3 from my PC to my MP3 player I must delete the copy on my PC. If I want to put the track onto a CD so that I can play it in my car's old fashioned stereo I have to burn it to CD, then delete it from the computer, then I have to rip the MP3 back onto my computer and destroy the CD when I get back home.
I must also destroy all the back-ups of all my MP3s which I put on DVD in case my computer gets stolen. If I get a scratch on a CD I now have to buy a new one instead of simply burning a new one from the back-up I made of it. If I loose my MP3 player I have to buy a new copy of all the tracks I have on it. On a 60Gb iPod this could amount to several thousand pounds worth of music. However, if I steal a computer or MP3 player I can now sell the device AND all the music on it, increasing the value of my theft by many times.
The only way this arrangement could ever be practical is if we stop buying music, but instead buy the right to listen to music. Actually owning a copy of a track means I can make unauthorised copies of it or loose it, and the only way to stop this is to make all music only available through music streaming. However, this obviously has several implications.
Firstly, I will need all my music playing devices to have permanent access to a 256kbps network (that's more than 3G can do in a fast moving car). This includes when I go through a tunnel, or am in a concrete building underground, and will undoubtedly mean a massive reduction in battery life for music players and will lead to an increase in my carbon footprint, an increase in internet congestion and a decrease in the reliability of my music player.
Secondly, I will have to sign up to a single music provider service that will have a record of all the music I own and will know (and be able to sell) information of what I listen to and how often I listen to it. If I want to change service provider I will have to rely on them transferring data quickly and instantly (fat chance!), otherwise I will be left without access to my music.
Thirdly, my right to access the music I want will no longer depend on what I can find in the wider community, but on what the supplier thinks is appropriate. If my government decided that a song criticising religion was inappropriate there would literally be no way I could listen to it.
If this is the cost of maintaining the current Big Corporation music mass-production line, then it is a price that I for one am not prepared to pay. I’d rather see musicians having to live off the money they can make from live gigs than see this authoritarian and undemocratic level of social engineering. The amount of social contract re-writing that is going on to protect the interests of shareholders and employers is beyond a joke. Welcome to the machine.