Monday, June 18, 2007

Michael Moore: pinko or capitalist genius?

Rob at SayAnything is outraged at Michael Moore's comments that he doesn't mind if people share copies of his movie "Sicko" over the internet.
I don’t agree with the copyright laws and I don’t have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people,” said Moore when asked about pirating. “I make these books and movies and TV shows because I want things to change, so the more people that get to see them the better, so I’m happy when that happens. I think information and art, ideas should be shared.”
Rob has decided to call Moore's bluff by posting the whole thing on his site, expecting to be shut down immediately. I don't know if Moore's legal team have shut it down or if Rob's bandwidth is saturated, it wasn't playing when I dropped by.

But Rob shouldn't be so quick to outrage over Moore's "fair use" policy. After all, Moore is already a wealthy man, and there are lots of examples of good capitalists who give away things of value and still make a fortune. Google is the most obvious case in point: most of us use their services daily and never pay a dime for it. And the company’s founders are now billionaires.

Everyone with a blog also knows that they can get set up on a server for free - and I don’t see Blogger or Wordpress going out of business any time soon.

And of course, we’ve been listening to music free over the radio for about a hundred years now.

The key is to find something of greater value than the original item. Michael Moore is willing to trade some revenue for a bigger reputation and a bigger audience (including people like Rob and his readers who would likely never have paid to see a Michael Moore film in the first place).

Now if the music industry ever stops suing it’s customers for pirating music, they might figure out how to make some money on the internet, too.

h/t MvdG

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