Do you expect free content?

Last week I held a rough survey in a room of 30 people by asking who had downloaded a movie or music (that would be rights protected) and not paid for the privelege. And have a guess at the response....over half admitted they had downloaded and not paid.

I do not believe that any of these people are criminals, but technically they had committed a crime. This area is becoming a real moral "gray zone". The children that are growing up now with computers know of nothing else, they have never paid for music, they don't think they are doing anything wrong. So what is the future of this behavior? Will the overwhelming tide of people doing this, make it impossible to police these crimes?

As photographers, you are content creators, you are creating images for people to enjoy. So how does this affect us? Your customers already ask for the files, many of them would be trying to scan the prints. People want to control their own content. How do we respond to this?

Perhaps the answer lies in the pricing and ease of access. People won't steal if it is easy to buy and reasonably priced. Apple's iTunes and Amazon's MP3 store has made reasonable in-roads with this solution.

I chose the metaphor 'tide' carefully, as trying to prevent people wanting to control their own content could be akin to trying to hold back the tide. What do you think? Paul