The lack of bucks... [long rambling eclectic missive]
One thing that always bugged me about El Reg's various surveys is that it assumes you're in an IT dept. There's never a "geek for the fun of it" option. Well, that's me. I program and such for fun. Some people look at porn, I look at code. Takes all sorts, I guess... I like programming, and I can code what I want when I want. Looking at some of the horror stories that turn up in these forums (plus my company's so-called IT support (_still_ IE6)), I think I'm probably glad I don't do it as a job. It would be tragic if what I love became a non-stop aggravation.
My real job? Pretty menial stuff with a decidedly unimpressive pay. And while you might ask what I expect being a foreigner in another country with a less than perfect grasp of the language, there is the issue of the 40-50 other people I work alongside who make the place run but also receive pay cheques that aren't going to set the world alight. It pays the bills, it buys the food, it puts a computer in my lap and WiFi signals through the air. I'm doing okay.
I can sympathise with the media production guys, the low-down paid-crap people that actually make the whole shebang work. But like the company I work for has management with company-provided cars, generous holidays, perks-a-plenty, and a pay scale that looks to be logarithmic... how much of the media company's situation is actual piracy, and how much is greed higher up the food chain?
Oh sure, the bosses will point to piracy. But back to my company - they had an employee savings scheme which, I think, was part company subsidised. This has been cancelled due to the economy, the financial situation, and that the company is working with barely any profit at all because of, blah-de-blah-de-blah. We employees can forget any hope of a perk this year, yet the R&D guys have gone to shiny new premises, there's going to be a new storehouse built, all the old CRTs were recently replaced with flat panel displays, though many of the clunky old computers have gone with the guys in charge walking around holding laptops. No doubt the money that didn't put into the employee savings scheme helped buy some of this stuff. No, I'm not bitter, I didn't take the offer as the Ts&Cs translated to gibberish as far as myself and Google could make out. :-)
Thing is, the film/tv/recording industry execs have repeatedly demonstrated something of a lack of ethics, and it would not surprise me one iota if the real problem is your media guys just aren't valued by those in charge, piracy being little more than an excuse to point to. This is nothing special really, look at long strings of company director pay packets, especially in the banking industry. Maybe if people were paid their genuine worth instead of what they felt they could take, the people up the top would get a little less and the people at the bottom would get a little more. But it'll never happen, for the ones paid the most want the most and all the little people have next to zero power in a climate of more people than jobs. We, essentially, get to bend over and take it like a man with a smile on our faces. But, then, why not? I might not be rolling in dosh, but I have my ethics, I know I'm not screwing anybody over in order to give myself more, and at the end of the day if the caca hits the fan, it's zip to do with me or my judgement. So, um, I'll take my pathetic pay and I'll let all the shit fall on somebody else's head. The only _only_ thing I regret is I'm unlikely to visit a certain country far to the east of here. Uh well, you can't have it all. I know that. It's a shame the captains of industry don't.
Geek icon, 'cos my DNA markers are named after all the instructions in the 6502 repetoire. ;-)