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« Und you VILL Sign Zis Contract Or Else! | Main | Hines on Amazon Re-Pricing Authors' Books »

February 23, 2012

Is Wanting to Pay for Content "Entitlement"?

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Fantasy author Jim Hines takes issue with the Oatmeal comic I discussed yesterday.

In a brief blog entry titled "Oatmeal, McGuire, and Entitlement", Hines relates the story of fellow author Seanan McGuire who was apparently subjected to a great deal of abuse because readers were disgruntled that the e-book version of her latest book didn't appear until two weeks after the print version.

Hines avers that he is no fan of DRM, and agrees that HBO is making a mistake with their marketing. However, he takes umbrage at what he sees as entitlement on the part of fans: that sense that they ought to be able to acquire what they want, when they want it, in the formats they desire, so long as they're willing to meet the stated price. Err, um, yeah. And no.

Hines is right - nobody is entitled to buy anything, and certainly there's no cause to attack someone who isn't even at fault for your inability to make an instantly gratifying purchase. But he's also wrong, in that entitlement, or instant gratification, is the major motivating force behind virtually all electronic commerce. The vast engines of marketing and media and expectation have been pushing for the last couple decades toward instant gratification, instant fulfillment, always-on, 24/7/365 shopping. We made of Mammon a god, and you are surprised when his thwarted worshippers rage?

People didn't just up and decide overnight that they were entitled; they have been trained into it over and over. It's not a unique attitude, it's a carefully cultivated outcome of the modern consumerist society. You may not like it but it's hardly surprising.

(h/t +Kee Hinckley for the original pointer)

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Big Thoughts


COMMENTS

1. timmaguire42 on February 23, 2012 8:40 PM writes...

It's also worth noting that Hines' objection misses a much much larger point.

Regardless of whether the pirate is morally justified in stealing after having made an honest attempt at an honest purchase, it is a plain fact that he is much more likely to steal if he is thwarted in his honest attempt to make an honest purchase. Sell him what he is trying to buy and he won't steal. Most of piracy is that simple.

And a warning: stealing is habit forming. Once this otherwise honest person steals, he may not put so much effort into doing it legally next time.

Permalink to Comment

2. publicité sur internet on February 25, 2012 2:49 AM writes...

No be thankful for what you have. Plus it is not finished growing yet. Commented by - staboochop

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