Monday, July 31, 2006

Root Kit vs Sukhumvit... DIP Stick

I have just had an absoulte shock :O

Living in Thailand (particularly Bangkok) you get used to the fact that Copyright really means the right to copy stuff and that IP is more likely to mean Internet Protocol (although even that's a leap) rather than Intellectual Property.

I have just paid full price for three CD's of Thai artists distributed in Thailand.

The distributors are GMM Grammy and More Music.

Like a lot of people today I listen to music at work, this generally means MP3. Unlike most people I don't like to be bound to Windows Media Player (the evil empire) and often spend a lot of time on Linux (be it Ubuntu or SuSe) which don't have Windows Media Player [obviously!].

So imagine my surprise to go through my usual routine of using AudioGrabber to convert my purchases to MP3 so that I can listen at work from my hard drive or play on my MP3 player during the many hours I spend on planes and the less hours that I spend in the gym (more's the pity me) to find that here of all places they've resorted to using root kits.

Many people might not realise it but there is the DIP here, the Department of Intellectual Property, you can go to their "website" here. At first I thought the blank void was the usual Thai preference of a single browser (IE) but even using IE 6.0 doesn't change the professionalism of this website design.

I have often thought that if companies are committed to stopping piracy they should do more for thier end users:

  1. Lower the price point of the pucker product. I don't condone pirated goods but where is the economic logic in being able to watch a film on "DVD" for less money then it costs me to go to the cinema
  2. Films: keep them in the theatre longer. I get a two week window of opportunity to watch a blockbuster in Thailand. This is usually a hectic period where the cinemas are over full as everyone rushes to watch the film. If the two weeks is a period where I am out of the country on business I miss out. If the film is really popular I can never get a seat and I miss out. All round pretty poor planning on the part of the distributors.
  3. Music: why should I pay the full price for a CD of my favourite artists and only be able to listen to the music at home on my CD player. Many of the CD's don't play in the car and as can be seen from my latest experience I can't now listen at work either. To put it into perspective I am at work 10 to 11 hours per day. I am at home and free for maybe 1.5 to 2 hours in the evening. If they want to get serious then make it as easy as possible for me to enjoy my full price product.
All in all I'm pretty upset. Maybe next time I should head to Sukhumvit Raod and buy the (substantially) less than full price for a less than legal copy of the media. At least I would get to use it. But then that would be proliferating the piracy and encouraging the bad behaviour.

1 comment:

Paul Jardine said...

The DIP will probably be guilty of supplying certain preferred piracy ventures with rootkit information...
Then we would have the third part of the Thai 'trilogy'.
Anti-Corruption Commission found guilty of ... Corruption
Election Commission found guilty of ... Election fixing
Department of Intellectual Property found guilty of ... ?

Is this a pattern in Thailand, or am I too cynical??