0145F: Why I Still "Buy" Digital Content

So there's a bunch of articles going around related to various DRM-type stuff. On the one hand, a recent study shows that Americans who pirate music also tend to buy more music legally, at least when compared to those who pirate. On the other hand, we had the sad case of the lady who lost access to her Amazon account and thus all her Kindle books over some weird snafu on the Amazon side of things.

Yes, like most technology enthusiasts, I'm against the principle of DRM. When we "purchase" something, even just digitally, I firmly believe that we should have access to our purchases in perpetuity. But I also recognize that it will take the various media content industries a while before they come around to that sort of thinking So our choices for now are to pirate content in order to have our "own" copies of our content or we deal with the DRM system and effectively "rent" content in order to remain legal.

Ever since I first got my Kindle, I've become more and more open to the value of digital content. I enjoy my Kindle eBooks and having access to them on any Kindle-compatible device. I like the added features of being able to adjust font sizes and never losing my page. And more recently I've gotten into digital comics through comiXology, which offers similar cloud benefits plus the joys of Guided View, which practically turns any comic into a pseudo motion comic.

Let's face it - the current distribution channels are dying. It takes forever for things like genre books to get here and when they do, especially with respect to comics, they get to slap all these other costs into the equation thus driving the prices up. As a collector, I still value having physical books and valued trade paperbacks in my hands. But a times I just want to read the stories and I don't want to have to break the law to do so.

Over the years, it is interesting to now how much more, well, legal I've become. I used to pirate a heck of a lot of things and that continues to diminish as I purchase digital content more and more. Ultimately people pirate when access is difficult. Take my very first ebook purchase as an example - The Windup Girl. It won both the Hugo  and Nebula Awards in 2009. And yet it's not exactly a book that is easy to find in local bookstores. And that's because we have to deal with the books that the stores are willing to import and risk as having as inventory.

Don't get me wrong, I still aim to own physical versions of the books and comics that I like. We even still buy music CDs when we really like the artist (Kylie!) and we have a lot of original DVDs here at the Sietch. But at the same time, I find myself dealing with various DRM vendors more and more and thus my addition to the Amazon Kindle Store and my current fixation with comiXology. And there's no turning back anytime soon.
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