I think the only real use of television today is to catch the news and perhaps if you are a media student, to study it. So I do agree with you when you say that television is declining, for a certain class of people, yes I seem to be making the same argument over again, but it is true. The internet has taken over in terms of television drama shows like Prison Break, Desperate Housewives and Lost. Lifestyle channels seems to have larger potential on television today, like Travel and Living and VH1 to a certain extent, I would rather watch those channels on television than download them off the internet. But if we talk about the Indian context I think most part of the population relies on television, I am unaware of the names of Hindi drama shows and soaps on Indian television, but can you download them as well? Television to me seems to have caught a far greater audience in India and had a much greater influence, not just Doordharshan anymore, but cable television. So I would be wary of comparing it with the internet, whose potential is definitely massive, if it were carried out on a large scale, but unfortunately not a reality yet.
I also find that the reason I knew about shows such a Prison Break and Lost is because I watched them on television first, and then attempted to download later seasons off the internet, so in a sense television seems to jumpstart piracy and free downloading. Shows like Entourage that haven’t made it to Indian television yet, but are being watched by a large young audience in India I think would’ve been heard about vaguely on television or maybe relatives abroad. However as far as movies and music is concerned the internet has seemed to break far more barriers, I would willingly participate in free downloading of a movie or a song that I’ve been wanting to see or hear for long time. Music especially is of great quality in the internet. However I do listen to a lot of trance music and trance music is not made for a commercial market. Although there are a few Djs like Infected Mushroom and Goa Gil who do sell their music commercially through a record company, most of them trade music ‘underground’. Trance is also known as ‘underground’ music. Why I bring this up is even though I do find lesser known Djs on the internet through Limewire, the music that is available is limited and generally very outdated. In a way I suppose that this is the purpose of trance music, to be traded underground, to thrive as far away as possible from the internet and other sources of mass dissemination. It’s a strange sort of barter system like market and the irony is that trance Djs ‘borrow’ heavily from classical music or from rock bands such as Nirvana and Dire Straits and even from Cartoons, there are trance versions of the Popeye the Sailor man song. So they do believe in piracy and they do not believe in copyright laws, their music is not subjected to copyright laws, since they do not produce commercially. It functions almost as a community, the way they share music is by creating a CD or DVD containing their music, then trading and sometimes sharing it with one or two people. They trade music for music. If one Dj wants to play around with another’s music and tweak it a little bit here and there, it is allowed because there are no rules. It is an interesting community that works very much on principles of piracy, virtually without the internet.
Of course piracy is a brilliant tool for upcoming artists, electronic, house, progressive house Djs and one can most definitely learn from each other through the internet and build as an artist. Also it has created space for new kinds of artists to evolve, such as digital artists, digital poets, internet gaming designers and so on. So I agree, it is definitely important to evolve with technology. When poetry gets on to internet, it would be good for the poet because poetry as a form of art is read by such few people, that if a poem were put onto the internet, the poet would be glad to know that he is being read by somebody. But if his poem were published in a written anthology without his or her consent, he would be unhappy for not being told so, and not having been paid an adequate amount. Somehow the internet seems to have been established by most artists as a means to get recognized and so they don’t mind their work being posted for free. The publisher of poetry would hardly be harmed by it, because he or she wouldn’t sell much to begin with.