Finally finally finally – Barney Rosenzweig announces on his blog, we’re to have the complete Cagney and Lacey on DVD.
First time ever or anywhere audio version of my book (Cagney & Lacey…. and Me) narrated by the author, a featurette made by MGM some five years ago and previously seen by those of you who bought their limited DVD release of “True Beginnings,” the British Film Institute tribute taped last November in London, a personally autographed photo of Tyne and Sharon signed by each of them, as well as archival interviews with Tyne, Sharon, series creator Barbara Corday as well as yours truly. There is also a booklet authored by me and it all comes in a very handsome box at less than half what many of you said you would pay for such a bonanza..for the price of $139.00 plus shipping.
Last night I got into a foolish argument with an unpleasant person on Twitter who, on discovering I did not share her enthusiasm for a system which denies the opportunity to buy to people who want it, told me that consumer demand could justify child porn so obviously it was wrong for the music/TV/publishing industries to sell their works in accordance with how consumers want to buy them. We mutually blocked each other, but I gather that the spectre of child porn is her favourite, perhaps her only argument for why companies like MGM should refuse us for so long.
And then Paul Cornell started asking me unpleasant questions about did I steal. Wow, do I ever resent that. My main reason for not succumbing over the years to one of the readily-available pirate sets of DVDs of Cagney and Lacey was that the actors and the writers would get nothing from that, and I appreciate their work and I want them to get paid for it.
But good grief, how many years is it now that MGM have been letting us fans of Cagney and Lacey know that in their view no one would want to buy DVDs of a buddy cop show with two women, so no, they don’t intend to do the series on DVD? Not for years but for decades. I don’t appreciate that system, and I don’t appreciate getting yelled at for thinking this is terribly, appallingly stupid.
Instead of fighting easy downloads from the Internet, MGM and others should appreciate that this is how we want to buy. Supply increases demand.
Did you know that it was once said that circulating libraries would be the death of publishing?
For a few pennies, people could avoid buying books. They’d take out the books they wanted to read, return them to the library when read to be borrowed again. Just as, two hundred years later, home taping music you heard on the radio was said to be the death of the music industry – theft! they yelled then, theft! – they were all wrong. Any industry that sees a new means of getting its products into the hands of people who want them ought to be working with consumer demand, not fighting it. People read more because of libraries. People listened to music more because of home taping – and hugely more because of filesharing on the Internet.
That is the good news. The bad? Well, it is only in the US system and postage out of the country is not included. We went on and on about this over here as long as we could and could not win this fight for our UK fans. I can only remind you of what you all said you might pay and ask that you take the savings from that and invest in a converter that will allow you to play this collection on your home systems. You’ll still have money left over for postage. I have to say to you there is no telling when… if ever… MGM will ever allow this to be done again for other markets outside the US and Canada.
Furthermore, each DVD will doubtless come with mindless angry panicky short films at the start and end that scream at me DO NOT PIRATE, PIRACY IS WRONG. Which I could only avoid by, er, buying the pirated versions. Which I could have done any time in the past ten years if I’d wanted to.
I don’t know anything about the music industry except that since I could listen to music for free on the Internet I’ve been buying a lot more music. So I’m inclined to believe Piracy didn’t kill the music business:
Long before the record industry was, in their estimation, attacked by downloaders and people believing music should be free, the record industry itself compromised its own business through questionable decisions, corruption and the corporatization of music. Art and commerce always have and always will have a tenuous relationship. But, when the pendulum swings so far to one side, it is no shock when it eventually comes flying back the other direction. So, record execs, the next time you look into a camera or into a room full of onlookers and try to tell us that file sharing and video games killed your business, don’t waste your breath. Instead, take a look in the mirror and you’ll probably find the culprit.