1988: Die Hard – McTiernan
Bruce Willis, is known for his action movies, but it seems that he is probably more mindful of his mortality than some of the characters he plays. Bruce is contemplating taking Apple i-Tunes to court about his music collection. It seems that he was reflecting on his mortality and the inheritance he would leave for his children. He has worked out how much he has spent downloading music and figured that this is a considerable sum (it is for most people). If this were a record/CD collection it would simply be part of his estate that is passed on. However, as it is i-tunes – Apple argue that the music is effectively rented – by way of a license, which expires when the purchaser does, it cannot be passed on to his daughters (or anyone else).
Anyone that is a fan of real music will appreciate the irony. Record companies have been fiercely attempting to survive the digital age, record shops have closed and most “young people” rarely buy a physical CD/DVD etc. My own view is that this was a response to two things – firstly, the overly high prices charged for CDs and secondly the advent of technology that enables copying on a huge scale. The record industry has altered, but become increasingly more protectionist. It is little wonder that people object to paying high prices when music and film superstars seem to have very lavish lives.
What I object to is the constantly changing formats. I would be happy to exchange my old VHS movies, for a DVD for £1 or so, but why should I really pay the full price again? and then its Blueray… until the next thing in 3 years time. Apple, whilst they are hugely creative and make beautiful “stuff” one is often left feeling that somewhere we are all paying too much for things that do not last. This might also be true of their share price. The short-term shelf-life of most technology really does beg the question of whether this is a case of knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing.
So be warned, buy the hard copy original and then copy it to i-tunes, legitimately. After all the only real purpose of i-tunes, is so that you can easily alter the music collection that you carry around with you, not so that you can become music “renter”. I’m with Bruce Willis on this one who has turned a little “Pirate” in an attempt to challenge the status quo. I’m reading a book by Kester Brewin called “Mutiny” about Piracy at the moment. This is also a timely reminder to think about what it is that you record and what you leave behind and to whom.
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