Beginning of the end!

Today, the US Supreme Court has ruled that companies that make and distribute file sharing software be held responsible for what users do with their software. Obviously this is a major blow for software developers as they are now likely to face hundreds of compensation claims from the RIAA and MPAA for each pirated media shared on the network, which spells the end for these companies. Obviously this is trying to push people into buying music online, but I don’t like the idea of buying an mp3 track online, when you are not getting anything physical for your money and in some cases, you can only play the media on the machine is was downloaded to; and can not be burnt to CD, to enable play on a Hi-fi system or in your car. And the cost is a stumbling block with prices starting from $0.99 (£0.54) per track, which means that if you download an album with 12 tracks, it would cost you almost £6.50, OK that is half the price of a CD, but you have to remember that you don’t physically own the media, so if your hard disk fails or the file gets accidentally deleted, you have lost those tracks. In real terms, P2P will never be stopped; even it’s just a group of friends sharing files on their own FTP servers, which is very likely with broadband connections getting faster and cheaper all the time. The main reason that people got broadband in the first place was to download, legally or illegally, and the broadband companies have actively touted broadband for downloading music and video; of course they never mention downloading illegally, but it is implied none-the-less. It doesn’t really affect me anyway, as I rarely use P2P for the simple reason there isn’t much I want to download, and I don’t want to be downloading a DIVX for 3 days at 4KBps to see a crappy quality video of a movie, if I want to see the film that badly I would go to the cinema and get the full effect of the big screen and digital surround sound!

I end this entry on a sad note; Richard Whiteley has died in Leeds General Infirmary of pneumonia after undergoing recent heart surgery; at the age of 61. Richard was the first person to appear on Channel 4, in the channels afternoon word game show Countdown. Although I was never really a fan of the show, I liked the way that Whiteley didn’t change for anyone and just was himself, who loved life and his work on Countdown. I think that its safe to say that he can never be truly replaced, he will be missed by millions!

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