I think about food. A lot. In fact I’m perennially hungry, have been that way ever since I can remember. So it should come as no surprise that every now and then, I try and view things from the perspective of food.
Take music for example. Recorded music. Music that has been bottled or canned or preserved.
The ability to preserve music in this form is fairly recent in human history. And without this ability, the whole argument about downloads and ripping and format transformation rights and I don’t know what else falls by the wayside.
So when I look at this diagram, and read this report, I begin to wonder. Incidentally, there’s a worthwhile series of posts on the subject here and here, dealing, for example, with the winner-takes-all bias in some of this.
I know how I feel about preserved food. About preservatives in food. About additives and e-numbers and what-have-you. I know how I insist on using fresh herbs and spices when I cook, even though it takes longer and it’s more expensive. I know how I dislike frozen food, how much I dislike frozen food. I will not knowingly eat something that has been microwaved if I can avoid it. These things I know.
There was a time when there was no such thing as frozen food. In the history of food the ability to freeze food and reheat later is fairly recent.
There is a cost to freezing and transporting and heating frozen food. That cost will soon become more apparent to people, as awareness of carbon footprint in the food transportation and processing business grows. And more people will start eating local produce again.
And maybe we’re going to see something similar about music and film and sport. If this whole DRM and downloads and intellectual property rights debate continues to get out of hand, criminalising entire generations and seeking to corrupt and destroy the value of the internet, then we’re going to see a revolution.
We will see a renaissance of live music, of live performances, of live sport. Local teams supported. Local farmers supported. Local playwrights and poets and authors supported.
We will see a renaissance of travelling bands, of authors and poets on roadshows reading their own works.
We will see a renaissance of people paying to see artists perform, rather than paying for the right to perhaps maybe one day hear something recorded, canned and preserved, something they have to climb DRM Everest to hear, and even then it may not be possible.
DRMers and dreamers. Which one are you?