Should We Truly Pay for Entertainment?

January 20, 2012  |  

With sites like Limewire and Megaupload gone, and issues like music piracy rising to the top, it makes me wonder why people aren’t paying for entertainment.

I mean if one can just stay in the privacy of their own homes and enjoy all kinds of music, films and television shows for free…doesn’t that sounds like paradise? But we know that essentially this is illegal and some would say immoral. The piracy commercial always comes in mind, the whole you wouldn’t steal a car so you shouldn’t be downloading music and movies illegally. Unfortunately people do steal cars! You don’t see the car industry making an ad about the level of car thefts in our country.

Many people try to justify their means of downloading music or movies for free, saying that if Hollywood or the music industry produced more quality work, maybe more people would actually still buy or support their stuff.

Some people even complain that paying $10 for a crappy movie, which in many cases is either an unnecessary sequel or remake. And let’s not forget the fact that many movies are in 3D costing even more. New releases of DVD and Bluerays can cost you almost $30 and the price of a Netflix movie is always changing.

Album prices are the same way. The introduction of MP3s killed record sales and now it’s all about who can have the most digital sales. Unless it’s an artist or musician you really love, most people don’t buy entire CDs anymore.

So with all of this in mind, people don’t feel like they should have to pay for a movie they assume will be terrible, CDs where the only song you enjoy is the most popular single ($1.29 is too expensive) and TV shows that you don’t have the time to follow and will most likely get cancelled. With the economy being in the shape that it is now, people can’t afford the luxuries they once did.

From a mainstream point-of -view, sure the entertainment business has become watered down. However, the internet has created a space for people to discover new and truly talented people. Youtube for example has birthed many up and coming musicians, actors, comedians and directors. Why do you think the government, along with the entertainment industry want bills like SOPA and PIPA to pass? Because they haven’t found ways to totally profit off the internet and people are finding their own methods of entertainment outside the typical Hollywood or music industry formats.

But back to my original question, should people truly pay for entertainment? Of course we should, but if the music industry and Hollywood were producing more quality material maybe people wouldn’t feel the need to download music and movies or free. Yet that brings up another point, if the music and movie industry are not producing what the public really wants, we should turn to “alternative” methods. Alternative being all the D.I.Y independent artists who use the internet as a vehicle to display their talents. But if you’re going to consume media from these artists on the internet, be prepared to put up some money.

Bianca is a college student and blogger. Follow her on twitter @thefoxypoet

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