Record Executive 1: Digital piracy is a real problem!
Record Executive 2: Oh sure. Actually, now that you bring it up, digital piracy has actually been a real problem for awhile now. Like, a ton of years.
Record Executive 1: We’ve got to do something to stop digital piracy!
Record Executive 2: Well, obviously, as a fellow record executive, I entirely agree. But it’s proving pretty difficult. The consumer’s belief that content should be free seems pretty pervasive and intractable at this point. In order to deal with this, we’re going to have to change the culture, but changing the culture by design is an overly ambitious and virtually impossible goal to set for one’s self. Moreover, the music industry is in a particularly difficult position, because after years of over-charging consumers for CDs that cost cents to make, long after the investment in CD technology had been paid off 10 times over, which was, of course, the original rationale for the CDs being so expensive, it’s not surprising or even unreasonable for consumers to feel like they’ve been fleeced for years and are finally getting some kind of return on their own investment in the industry. This isn’t fair to artists, of course, who are the ones who suffer first and foremost, but if you think about it, you can at least see some of the thinking. Although even that, of course, is way over-intellectualizing it, because the truth is just that people like and have always liked free things and now they’re getting what they want for free so why would they stop?
Record Executive 1: Too long, didn’t listen.
Record Executive 2: …
Record Executive 1: Let’s make a PSA with Gilbert Gottfried comparing digital piracy to Burger King.
Record Executive 2: Wait what?
Record Executive 2: This is definitely going to work. Goodnight, digital piracy!
Record Executive 1: Thanks. Pass the discount cocaine.
Record Executive 2: I was being sarcastic.
Record Executive 1: I wasn’t. Pass that cocaine over here.