Never Own Content Again

How’s that title grab you? We are getting closer and closer to that reality. How many subscription services have you signed up for? Nextflix, Spotify, Audible, the list is long, and they all promise you tons of content. The important part is don’t get too attached to it.

What happened to me recently is I went to listen to an album, (CD or playlist for you youngns), only to find all the songs grayed out as it was no longer available on Spotify. In this particular case it was only a minor inconvenience as I have a copy of the album that I had bought and ripped (how music used to get on smartphones) on my device. I was just accustomed to listening through Spotify. Were that not the case I might have been in a different mood.

That is what started me thinking. Certainly with movies we have accepted that if it’s digital you are not downloading it legally. You may “own” it, but it only exists on some server and can vanish at any time. Same with books. Audible and Kindle are great services with tons of books, and as someone who moved piles of books to four states, I can say very attractive ones. However those books in your electronic library are only there as long as you keep paying for the service and or the publisher is a part of that service. You never physically own an e-Book or audio book. Now publishers are attracted to this as it certainly throws a monkey wrench in the plans of those nefarious libraries who allow people to read books for free, but consumers have given up a constitutional right. I bet you never thought of it that way.

I hope that these services will evolve and ways will be found that allow people to collect content digitally as they have in days gone by. Again if that is their preference. I know with video games I prefer loading a game from the select screen rather than hunting down a disc. The same goes for music. Is convenience enough of a reason to pass on our right to own our content? I suppose only time will tell.

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