Saturday, April 03, 2004

An Analysis of Evil

You know what the dumbest thing in the world is? Copy protection on CDs. There is absolutely no point in it, and all it does is harm and EVIL. Let me explain why.

I've been putting a bunch of my CDs on my hard drive lately, in preparation for getting a portable MP3 play (the one I'm getting is like an iPod, but better). Hell, one day CDs will probably be obsolete and we'll need to download songs directly into our head or something, so I better start transforming my CDs into 1s and 0s now.

But I digress. The thing is, some of my CDs are copy protected, which means you can't copy the CDs onto your computer, and you can only listen to them on your computer if you install their shitty software, and then it sounds worse. OK, so I see the purpose I guess...the theory is that if nobody can put these CDs on their computer, then nobody can give them to other people for free (on Kazaa etc.) and more CDs will be sold.

Except there are many things wrong with this theory. First of all, there's just the moral wrongness of preventing me from using the music that I purchased in the way I want to use it. I don't plan on sharing these CDs, I just want to put them on my portable player and listen to them. Even if I didn't want to do anything special with them, I can't even listen to them on all my CD players (i.e. my computer's CD drive), unless I install extra software and even then I get less-than-CD-quality music. But hey, they're record companies, and if this is the only way to prevent evil piracy in the world, then so be it. I'll just have to live with the products they put out or stop buying them.

Except it doesn't stop piracy. You can circumvent the copy protection easily. I think it's illegal to say how, which is why if you CLICK HERE then that web page WON'T show you how *wink wink*. Even if it were hard, it only takes one person on the planet to circumvent copy protection for the CD to show up on file-sharing networks, then everyone else on the planet can easily get it for free.

So, copy protection produces the following results:
1. The CD is still available to download for free by whoever wants it. These people are EVIL.
2. People who purchased the CD anyway (these people are GOOD) but don't know how to get around the protection are limited to listening to the CDs they bought on normal CD players, or on their computers but at a loss of quality.
3. People who purchased the CD (GOOD) and do know how to get around the protection have to go through the procedure of doing so, which is a pain in the ass, so they'll probably just download the CD out of annoyance with the record companies (i.e. they will TURN EVIL).

Therefore: The record companies turn GOOD people into EVIL people, hurt GOOD people, and have done nothing to stop EVIL. Anyone who does harm to GOOD things while supporting EVIL are themselves EVIL. Therefore record companies are EVIL.

This is how it makes me feel:

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