I write extensively about "illegal downloads" "piracy" "DRM", stuff dealing with the new way of interpreting ownership brought on by the www. Today I read yet another post about a band deciding to place its music online for free to listen (and for 4 euros to download; and yes I know this band is largely unknown and this is good publicity in there but that is not the point). The point that came to mind was in connection with a sampling activity we are doing for a client. We give out small samples of their products and people love them and we run out before we can even have time to worry. And that reminded me of a Jeniffer Aniston movie where she would go to Macy's (BTW, huge layoffs there) and stock up on free samples of her favorite day cream.
My point is this: human nature accepts freely available stuff as normal, when not constantly and significantly prosecuted for doing so. We are preordained to naturally accept what is given to use for free. There is no moral imperative to do otherwise. There is only taught behavior which prevents us from not expecting everything to be freely available. That and the rule of law.
Now, with digital, things are as simple as they could be: everything is pretty much freely available and nobody is prosecuting to instill a different behavior (because the extreme scope and breadth of the digital world simply forbids it). Therefore, what some term piracy is just normal human nature doing what it feels is okay.
Of course, as in real life, I think that some control should be placed over this because, as mentioned before, human nature tends to think ALL things are free and this can lead to mayhem. But the thing is that law, as we have it now, is based on a quasi medieval understanding of ownership and needs to be reinterpreted to fit human nature and the way technology works.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.