What IP does is create the opportunity for "walk-away income" which is saying it allows someone to separate income from hours.
A popular lecturer has only so many hours in a year in which he/he can make money lecturing. And so many venues in which to do it.
Record the seminar on a video, and the money earned is not directly linked to the lecturer's presence. And the venue becomes what is most convenient to the listener. No need to run out somewhere to hear something you want to hear. You can put in on when and where you wish - and listen to it as many times as you want. Big benefit to the listener that's not possible otherwise.
Well, this is a creative rewriting of the history. It is obvious that IP was not invented to let lecturers broadcast over paid youtube channels. You might wanna check this
out for a more accurate (methinks) version of the history of copyright.
Put the same information in a book and it has the potential to reach millions and doesn't require sophisticated technology to access it. Big benefit for the less financially well off - or those in less advanced environments - yet still retains the benefits of the recorded seminar.
Publish electronically and the buyer gets all of the above plus the convenience of instant access. Benefit again.
So put them in a book, video, mp3, whatever. Pirates don't hinder your ability to publish. They may hinder publication as a commercial venture, but not publication per se.
Pirate any of the above and the lecturer gets zero for all the additional benefits provided. His/her income opportunities are reduced to what can be made by doing a live presentation. Their income once again becomes tied to physical hours. Furthermore, the pirated copies have the potential to reduce what might have otherwise been a valuable product to a commodity. Why pay for it at all when you can get it for free?
Basically, the creator of intellectual property is once again reduced to swapping hours of lifetime for dollars on a one-to-one basis. Which serves to put an absolute cap on one's earning potential even under the most ideal set of circumstances.
But it gets worse. With the commoditization of IP something else bad happens. Piracy serves to drive out professionals. Because once you can no longer make a living, the only people that can afford to pursue an activity are the wealthy and the amateurs.
Well... you consider writing (and comparable activities) as a source of income, a way to earn living. I consider them an outburst of creativity, some goal in and of itself. Again, historically, writers were not entitled to anything just because they wrote. They received some benefits, often indirectly, such as the theater proceeds Shakespeare received. But he knew from the start that writing alone would not create any rights for him.
. He was a great philosopher who laid the foundations of the Enlightenment. He thought, and he wrote. Not to earn a living, but because he felt he had to. Man he was awesome. Yet he knew writing was not something to create a living for him. Instead he worked as an optical lens manufacturer. If working as a full-time lens manufacturer did not prevent laying the foundations of the Enlightenment, I believe today's writers will also do fine working as a nurse, waiter, carpenter, programmer, whatever.
If you look at literature prior to the 20th century, writing was the playground of the wealthy and privileged. And the books reflected the interests and biases of those who wrote them. Books were written by "the establishment" and preached establishment politics and mores. It wasn't until independent publishers started making inexpensive books and pamphlets (and paying authors) that differing viewpoints got more broadly into circulation - sometimes with disruptive ideas that reshaped the societies themselves.
Well... to think of it... It makes sense... Marx wrote what he did to earn royalties didn't he?
Anyway check out publication statistics
comparing pre- and post- extended copyright regime.
Pirating IP isn't liberating. It does little more than reduce people that create IP to an hourly wage since it destroys the opportunity for walk-away income. Which on turn puts a cap on creative earnings. Which eventually kills off professionalism and gives the stage to the amateurs and the idle. Because why would anybody with an ounce of brains want to go through all the trouble of being creative when they could just get a job doing something a lot easier. And likely for the same (or more) money?
Again refer to the Spinoza paragraph.
Pirating is a game changer. But not in the way some people think. What it mostly does is switch the formula for who is doing the screwing. It used to be the studios and record labels who were ripping off the talent. Now it's their fans.
Why do you create an entitlement on part of the writers in the first place? They were not entitled to anything in the 17th century, and virtually anything prior to 1920s. Yet they did write. Somewhere in the 20th century, we invented this entitlement idea. And now they constantly feel the fear of being screwed.
What IP ultimately does is to make thoughts commodities, which can be bought by the wealthy, and then used to further their interests.
If I may put words in the mouth of an actor known for 1950s westerns, IP is not the solution to our problems. IP is the problem.
And piracy is a symptom of this problem, an irrelevant and mostly useless practice in my humble opinion.
ed.: typo fixes