I was asked a while back to publish some example code from C++ Android development. I’ve decided instead to publish the Android version Black Dog when it’s finished, rather than selling it. There’s better stuff out there available for free, so I might as well open it up.
Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with that series-which-shall-not-be-named…
Just a quickie today, while it is still today. I’ve been harder at work on my most cunning of cunning plans: today I finished “Murder Man” which now just needs some music and a sound effect for a guy’s head exploding. If you happen to have come across the latter on your travels, do let me know…
Twilight of the publishers
Recently I came across this video on youtube. It is called “The truth about what motivates us”. Check it out so you have some idea of what I’m talking about.
Now, I’m sure everyone reading this agrees that the internet has changed the world, and mostly for the better. For example, totalitarian governments can no longer enforce media blackouts because some bloggers will always manage to slip through the net (accidental epic pun!). Unless of course you live in North Korea. Interesting too is the story of a tiny island lost in the Pacific Ocean, which supports its economy selling flowers online, and in so doing avoids being ripped off by the corporate middlemen who so plague much of international trade.
It’s these corporate middlemen I want to talk about today. No, this isn’t a rant about the evils of the corporate world. I just wanted to point out that there is one group of people who aren’t too happy about this near total freedom of information we now have, apart from the “Iranian Cyber-army” that is. The aforementioned middlemen. The publishers.
Will piracy really destroy our industries?
At this point you’re probably wondering what on earth this all has to do with the video I mentioned early. Well, if you listen to any of the anti-piracy warnings on your DVDs (if you ever actually buy DVDs), you’ll notice that they often prophesise the destruction of the music, film and games industries. They tell you that if you pirate films, games or music, then someday there won’t be any films, games or music to pirate.
Now, this may seem like a justification of theft, but I don’t think this is at all true. The thing about artists is that they don’t really work for money: they work because they are passionate about what they do. Money is just something they need to keep themselves fed and sheltered. One needs only look at the amount of free content online (free games, comics, music, short films, etc) to see that people will keep making this stuff, whether or not they’re getting paid, because they do it for love not for money. I’m almost certain that if all commercial films, games and music disappeared overnight, hundreds of thousands of amateurs would step in to fill the vacuum.
This is not of course to suggest that such people shouldn’t be rewarded for their hard work, and speaking as an amateur game designer (whose games are all free by the way), it really is hard work. The manner in which these people are rewarded needs to change though, because things simply can’t go on as they have been for much longer. For example, I own a copy of Gamemaker 7, but I’ve now pirated it because it takes 10 seconds to find a crack that will work forever, and 3 days to get your code unblocked each time you reinstall the program. It is easier to pirate “Call Of Duty: Mordern Warfare 2″ than it is to use software that I legally own. Does this seem abusrd to anybody else?
Working on comission
What it really means is that we are living in the final days of the publisher: they are a thing of the past now. We just don’t need them anymore. The only question is, what’s to replace them? How will projects be funded, and how will artists get their just reward? The answer is simple: you present your ideas online. If people like your ideas, they invest in them, and when your project is finished it is released, free for everyone to enjoy. In other words, everybody works on commision. You might not like the idea, but with this degree of freedom (which is, let’s not forget, a very good thing) you can’t restrict copyright anymore. And I don’t mean you “can’t” in an ethical sense, I mean you really, really “can’t”, in a realistic, rational sense: you can try, but you’ll fail.
This idea might seem naive, but it isn’t mine. It’s been bouncing around places like the “Free Software Foundation” for decades, and nowadays sites like “Kickstarter” bring it to life. The latter is a great site to look at if you’re feeling down: just to see all the ideas people are having is inspirational and uplifting, even if only a handful will ever come to fruition. There’s something to be said for having the courage to share your dreams (my cliché-sense is off the chart!)
This is a hotly debated topic – I won’t share “share your dreams” but do add your voice!
In other news, I’ve now got my PruHosting domain name! Huzzah! So bear in mind that we’ll be moving soon. Next stop, world domination…