True, but your scale is off by 100x.
How much extra did you have to pay the last time you renewed your driver's license? The last time you took a bus? How much kickback do you pay your boss every week to keep your job? When a loved one is in the hospital, how much does the nurse demand directly from you to make sure they get fed?
Be real here.
I produce short videos for a client, on a moderate budget. I was using lots of CC and public-domain labeled stuff from archive.org and YouTube. Then I realized, "Hey, wait! This TV show from the '50s is *not* public domain! Neither is this educational film from the '70s!"
This is what comes from people misunderstanding the slogan, "Information wants to be free." You get ignoramuses thinking, "Yeah, and I'm the one who'll set [someone else's stuff] free." There's a word for that -- theft. And that's what sadly permeates collections of "CC/PD" content
And here's the brief article from Communications of the ACM:
Also, they apparently didn't choose it: It was a continuation of an earlier tradition. So blame those students.
(I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Lamport when he won: See http://vimeo.com/95177539 . Nice guy!)
a) America is not the world. There are *many* places where you're expected to pay for your job, in one way or another. Sometimes it's above-board, sometimes not. I don't know about Malaysia, but wouldn't be surprised at all if that was the custom there.
b) Oh, wait, we have this in America, too! I paid LOTS of money to my managing broker when I was a real-estate agent. These are standard fees: Everyone at every agency pays them. And let's not forget the *MINIMUM WAGE* workers forced to pay for their uniforms and so forth.
So stop with the high-and-mighty. You're speaking from ignorance, not strength.
By comparison, the one service I checked out charges $12 each tape, plus shipping etc. -- and takes three weeks!
If you have more than a half dozen tapes to convert, you may do well buying a converter. You could let it run at night, then pay somebody $15/hour to do the finishing work (conversion to ProRes or whatever).
(I realize that this doesn't directly answer your question... but is an option worth considering.)
(I'm the article's author.)
Anyway. I'm the author of this article -- my list of recent work, which includes it, is http://tomgeller.com/portfolio.
I haven't read the comments yet, and am about to (with trepidation).
One quick note: I take exception with the headline. "ACM" didn't blame anybody for anything. Interview subject Valerie Barr "believes the retreat was caused partly by the growth of personal computers". I've asked for it to be changed.
I thought maybe they'd branched out in a totally unexpected way.
a) Other factors come into play when money changes hands -- issues of liability, scale, entitlements, conversion of public benefits....
b) Commercial exceptions are well-established in U.S. law.. If you want to argue they shouldn't be, you'll have to go back something like a hundred years. These restrictions have been very good for the country, though, so you'd have an uphill battle.