Media Needs Preservation

The bad guys are winning, and if they have their way the mouse will be the only piece of media to survive the 20th century!

Media, like video games, TVs, movies, and books, being sucked into a large, ominous black hole.

This week Google News announced it is removing magazines, even ones I paid for, and if I don't act quickly to export them they will be lost forever. To add insult to injury my hundreds of magazines have to be exported manually and slowly one at a time as PDFs.

Whether it's a film that was never released, removed from streaming because of licensing, or a video game lost to time, it is clear that we do a terrible job at preserving media. This is largely due to licensing and copyright, and there are a few big offenders (Disney and Nintendo) that are doing a serious disservice to humanity by locking content and throwing away the keys.

We need laws that keep media from disappearing. Simply enforcing that if media isn't available to consumers at a reasonable expense for a short period of time then that content should become public domain. This forces consumer friendly distribution by the owners of the media, and most importantly preserves art.

Unfortunately, Disney is annoyingly good at getting its way when it comes to protecting its precious intellectual property. So, for now piracy is the only real force working to preserve media. Hopefully with streaming services struggling and doubling down on anti-consumer practices, the tides will shift and the wind will fill the sails of the piracy movement again. Hopefully this time it's enough of a force that legislators see that piracy is only a symptom of a broken system. A system that is aligned to be hostile to consumers, and they enact laws that protect media and enable consumers.

For the record I think they'll instead try to ban encryption or http or HDMI, but it's nice to be optimistic sometimes.