I can't but wonder what the reaction would be if traditional media carried out a blackout of their own. That for one day every television and radio station were to switch off their transmitters, newspapers and magazines forgo a day and close their websites and not publish. What if no new films, books or albums were released for a year say. Such blackouts would have a much greater effect on the general populace than wikipedia's and other websites. Yet if nothing at all is done to stop illegal file sharing and piracy we will all be the poorer as businesses go to the wall or refuse to invest in products that are unprofitable. With films its not the mega block buster we have to worry about but the small art house films, and with newspapers its not the mass market tabloids that will die.

Take journalism for example, for all the rise of blogs and citizen journalism without the resources, money and skills of traditional newsprint and broadcast media many stories will not and could not be broken, could wikinews have a whip around to find enough money to buy a CD of MP's expenses, could it have uncovered the full extent of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, yet both the newspapers that broke these stories, The Telegraph and The Guardian, are in deep financial trouble that is getting deeper. Fewer and fewer of us buy newspapers and so many are so used to having content for free that they resent having to pay for the online versions of newspapers, and it is not just exact plagiarism that is a problem for traditional media. An analogy would be for a pharmacutical company or technology company to spend time and money on research and development, only to find that as soon as they bring out their products for pirates and bootleggers to produce the same product at a much cheaper price, because they don't have to price in the cost of past investments or worry about setting enough aside for future r&d.

If we must insist on content free of monetary cost, we should be aware of just what else we will have to pay for.

KTo288 (talk)17:49, 18 January 2012

Piracy takes place on the high seas, not in some teenager's bedroom.

Brian McNeil / talk20:18, 18 January 2012