The MPAA, RIAA, and closed source software houses have their customers over
a barrel. For many of us, going to the movies, buying or renting a DVD,
getting a CD from your favorite band, or buying a computer game is a way of
getting a source of entertaiment. Unfortunately, purchasing these products
gives companies the ammunition they use to pass laws such as the
companies can then use these laws to
beat us (the consumers) over the head.
Why do we let them continue? What can we, as consumers, do to keep our money
from being used against us?
A possible solution is something you can do every day, starting right now.
Every DVD you buy, every game you purchase, every visit to a movie theater,
every CD you buy, add $5 to the cost. In many cases, this amounts to between
10% (a $50 game) to 50% ($9.99 DVD) of the cost of the item you purchases.
Given the way prices work, the original price from the manufacturer is about
50% of the price you pay, so a $50 game is sold initially for about $25.
Once you pay licenses, royalties, production, etc. there probably is not
much left over that goes to lobbyists or legal. Thus, you are giving a larger
amount of money to defeat these laws than you are "giving" to get them enacted.
What do you do with that $5? Donate it to the organization of your choice.
Currently, the Electronic Frontier Foundataionis in the forefront of these kinds of issues, but you can choose whomever
What good will your $5 do? Simply put, the EFF needs money. Money to pay for
lawyers, money to educate people why these laws are wrong, money to defend
those accused of crimes that violate the first amendment of the US
Constitution. Since it is effectively
increasing the cost of DVDs, CDs, etc., it will also make you think twice
about your entertainment choices and maybe even save you money over
the long run.
Okay, I have $5. Now what? Save it up. Make a notation somewhere. At the
end of the month, end of the quarter, whenever, add up the notations and send
the appropriate amount of money to the organization of your choice. In many
cases, the money you send is tax-deductible (consult your accontant blah blah)