back to article How to fix the broken internet economy: START HERE

How can we begin to unpick the tangled mess that the technology and creative industries have created? There's certainly no shortage of blame to go around. In the past every new wave of technology has delivered healthy creative markets - but today this is no longer happening. Just 20 years since the birth of the internet …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd like them to stop region control

    My wife loves the music artiste "P!nk" and was naturally excited when she received a tweet the other day telling her there was a new single out, she went to the website and watched the video, then straight to iTunes to buy the song (probably the album too)

    It wasn’t available, back to P!nk's website and it looks like the song isn't available until sometime in September for UK fans.

    WTF, Seriously, W . T . F!!

    Way to shoot yourselves in the foot Music Label. Needless to say my wife now has the song, didn’t pay anything for it of course and might (or might not) buy the song legally when it’s available in the UK

    Anon Obviously

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: I'd like them to stop region control

      Unfortunately, that's a symptom of global companies continuing to think locally.

      IIRC, Pink is on RCA who are owned by Sony Music USA, which in turn is owned by Sony USA. Sony Music USA are probably the people who have negotiated releases with iTunes (USA bit), but in the UK the distribution rights will come via Sony Entertainment Music UK and will be negotiated with the UK bit of iTunes as a different deal.

      (Incidentally, it will almost certainly be the same story for other resellers like Amazon.)

      So what you have is a global company dealing with another global company for a global release but only ever operating a local level.

      I'm almost certain that Apple/iTunes, Amazon et al would be more than happy to just sign global deals and be done with it and I rather expect that Sony (and the others) have made this rod for their own back.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd like them to stop region control

      I'm pretty sure that this sort of thing is because it's not really possibly for an artist to appear on the chat show circuit and make appearances on radio/telly to promote a new track/album in two continents at the same time.

      It would be nice if they could somehow only "tweet" to people in the US about US news and people in Europe about European news, but I don't think twitter works that way.

      1. Oliver 7

        Re: I'd like them to stop region control

        Did you even read the article? Media companies can't stop people looking into other people's gardens any more and stuff like staggered releases and region control merely pisses off potentially legitimate customers.

        1. ArmanX

          Re: I'd like them to stop region control

          You know what would be awesome? If all those "Sorry, you can't buy that right now" messages were recorded and sent to the record labels. "When this came out, we had 20,000 requests that we turned down, because they weren't from the US."

          But you know what? Sony et al would probably just use that information to "crack down on pirates" because when the music did become available, those people didn't all buy it, so they must have pirated it.

  2. Mike Street
    Megaphone

    Its a Minefield

    You make some good points - faults on all sides of course.

    But content licencing (an area in which I work) is a minefield. I can get video of a sporting event by signing a complicated and absurd contract and putting my house and children up as collateral. So far so good.

    But if the crowd is chanting a copyright song (like 'You'll Never Walk Alone') I have to contact, and licence, and pay, collection companies in every damn country in which I want to show it. And pay more per view than I make in revenue - just for the crowd noise!

    It is actually impossible to know if you, or anyone else, has fully cleared rights. You may think you have - right up until the moment someone takes you to court in Absurdistan or somewhere. The only people getting rich are lawyers, and they are getting rich mostly by saying 'I don't know the answer to that. I can put you in touch with someone in that country who also won't know the answer, but it will cost you'.

    I am not surprised that even Google can't innovate in a space with so much uncertainty, and so many organisations claiming money for nothing.

    As a user, I don't pirate and I am a Spotify subscriber. I am trying to do the right thing. But please provide a broader range and better quality for my 10 quid a month.

    As a user and as an innovator, it seems to me it should not be this hard, or this expensive.

    1. tom dial Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Its a Minefield

      Assuming the above statements are correct as to the licensing requirements, I would like to add that the example song, "You'll Never Walk Alone" was written about 1945 (67 years ago) and the authors, whose contributions to "the Progress of Science and useful Arts" are being promoted by the copyright protection, in fact died 52 (Oscar Hammerstein) and 33 years (Richard Rodgers) ago.

      What is this really if not simply the result of (extremely successful) rent seeking activities by those who, for the most part, contribute nothing beyond economic friction?

    2. Jan Hargreaves

      Re: Its a Minefield

      The reason there isn't a broader range is because independents, like the music label I do some work for, are sick of being ripped off by Spotify. Thus we removed our content from Spotify.

      They pay only £0.0003 per stream, which gets rounded down to zero. Great... thanks, but no thanks.

      It's great that you are trying to do the "right thing", which, as this article says, two thirds of people do. However Spotify is owned by the majors, who have already paid royalities to their artists, thus any income they see from Spotify they get to keep all of it. Thus the ridiculously low royalty rates. Spotify is doing NOTHING to create a viable economy for the future of the music industry. All it is doing is making the rich richer, and leaving the content creators out to dry.

      The CEO of Spotify is in the top 10 richest people in the music industry in England, behind only one of the artists on his network. When you get that warm, glowing feeling that you are paying for the music you listen to, just remember it is going into his pocket, not the person who created the music you love.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Its a Minefield

        I'm still baffled why, in this day and age, we need "music labels" at all. Musicians have all the resources they need to market their own materials (this internet thing). What is the added value of a label? (Honest question , since I'm not, and never have been, in the music business).

        1. fixit_f
          Happy

          Re: Its a Minefield

          There are many reasons touted, not sure all are completely accurate but there is still a grain of truth to them... the three biggies I can think of are:

          a) With amateur production kit and limited production experience you can't get the sort of recording results that you could release. Unless you're a deliberately "Lo Fi" kind of outfit this will generally be a problem for you, and limit your potential audience. This means that you'll need to spend time in a proper recording studio and hire professional people, which costs a good chunk of money. Fine if you're Radiohead and you can front it, but a big problem if you're starting out.

          b) Record labels do have amazing publicity machines. Whether they tend to use them to good effect is subjective given some of the old shit they keep trying to pump to people, but still, if they want something to sell they generally can make it happen - using billboards, TV advertising, pulling strings to get support slots and so on.

          c) Distribution. Not many people buy in shops anymore, but an awful lot of people still want a physical copy such as a CD. This is for various reasons such as snobbiness about sound quality (FLAC isn't quite established in the mainstream yet) to people who just like the album art and cover notes. This media costs money to master and press (this kind of follows on from the first point really)

          Hope that helps, there are plenty of other reasons trotted out. Hopefully they will all disappear at some point as record companies are an extra layer between musicians and music lovers that ideally we'd be able to do without.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Its a Minefield

            Thanks, fixit_f. They were ideas I'd had, but, like you, I don't see how they are necessary or sufficient to enable the status quo to be maintained. A quick look on rentmystudio.co.uk (found through Google - it is not somethig I've ever looked for previously) shows studios for rent at about £25 an hour or £180 per day in my area (East Midlands), but I'm not sure how long it would take to produce a track/album. It could become a significant cost to someone on low income.

            I'm still not seeing the benefit of big studios and restrictive contracts, though :-)

            1. spiny norman

              Re: Its a Minefield

              I live near a recording studio with a very good engineer who records for major labels. As an unsigned band, a couple of days with him will cost £1000 and you'll get a professionally produced EP out of it, using all the latest technology. That's the easy bit, assuming you can actually play, write decent songs and function as a band. The next bit, getting it to stand out from all the other wannabe tracks that appear all over the internet, and getting people to pay for it, is much harder.

    3. Fibbles

      Re: Its a Minefield

      I can't say what the laws are like in other countries but surely the football chant is covered by fair dealing in the UK because it's just incidental inclusion.

      The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 states:

      (1)Copyright in a work is not infringed by its incidental inclusion in an artistic work, sound recording, film or broadcast.

      (2)Nor is the copyright infringed by the issue to the public of copies, or the playing, showing or communication to the public, of anything whose making was, by virtue of subsection (1), not an infringement of the copyright.

      (3)A musical work, words spoken or sung with music, or so much of a sound recording or broadcast as includes a musical work or such words, shall not be regarded as incidentally included in another work if it is deliberately included.

      My understanding is that if the fans chant it then you're fine. If you dub a studio version over the top of the footage then you're infringing. IANAL though...

  3. Lunatik
    FAIL

    Unicorn sighted! Oh wait, it's just a donkey with an ice cream cone stuck on its napper :(

    Thought Ultraviolet had the potential to be a unicorn, but after buying a UV Blu-Ray and experimenting with the process of unlocking the digital content I was sent packing, forced back to the torrents that I've not really used for a few years now.

    Woeful 'experience'.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Unicorn sighted! Oh wait, it's just a donkey with an ice cream cone stuck on its napper :(

      I did not even get that far, I read about it on this esteemed organ and immediately found it won't work on Linux. Now I do have access to an old copy of Windows, but it comes back to the point that Andrew made (as countless others have) that DRM sucks!

      The inconvenience and high probability of paying for something and getting screwed later is too high, and suddenly them there torrents looks might good, me hearty!

      It comes back to this issue of control-freakery, and I guess some of that comes back to Byzantine licensing terms for each and every country and media that exists having grown over the years. Also pointed out is 2/3 of users are 'honest', so why make life hard and irritate your paying customers to protect content that is mostly going to be paid for, and those who don't pay you can't practically stop anyway?

      I wish that some sense could be injected to both sides of the copyright debate.

  4. PassiveSmoking
    Thumb Down

    I'd much rather go with HMV's triple-play packages where you get the same content on Blu-Ray, DVD (works on older players, trivial to rip) and iTunes download (Don't need to actually even rip the DVD).

    This UltraViolet nonsense is exactly that. Nonsense.

    And I seem to remember the musicians unions objecting to pianolas (self-playing pianos) and Edison's wax cylinders. The movie industry tried (and thankfully failed) to kill off home video, they took another crack at it with Tivo and Content shifting, and of course it goes without saying what an omnishambles their reaction to MP3 tech was. I'd say that tne entertainment industry being hostile to technology is far from a new phenomena.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing...

    The article is not really bursting at the seams with practical and concrete measures. This might possibly be due to the fact that practical and concrete measures do not really exist.

    And nothing can be done while it is still possible to download pretty much any song for free.

    1. Luther Blissett

      A practical measure

      The lawyers on all sides need to be put back in the box.

      In the case of the major labels, mostly run by lawyers, this will automatically ensure new management with a can-do attitude, since lawyers' creativity is demonstrably restricted merely to inventing opportunities (ie laws) for other lawyers' to inhibit creativity.

      Why encourage lawyers? The problem is that too many people see lawyers simply as heavy artillery in a zero sum game. But it is not a zero sum game - creativity is an inexhaustible resource.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing...

      Yes there is: universal value tokens - i.e. digital money. If I could, I would happily give a few bucks for stuff I can download for free. But not if I have to screw around with PayPal, Apple, Amazon, Google... that isn't money, it's "funny money": non-fungible private currencies with exhorbitant transaction costs.

      I don't know if digital money is *practical*. Even more than physical cash, it's prone to abuse by governments, banksters, drug/arms/slave traffickers, and other organized criminals. That includes Bitcoin.

  6. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Creative Industries?

    There's a difference between the artists that actually perform, and the Music Labels that end up with lots of cash. The music labels aren't a creative industry, they are content distribution, and they failed to keep up with the killer technology, the internet. I doubt the issues can be really addressed until it is accepted that the Labels will die... obviously, they will fight every way they can (laws, DRM...) to prevent that.

    Perhaps then we'll see mass-market "Superstars" disappearing, and a return to more participatory entertainment, lots of artists with small audiences.

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Creative Industries?

      There are already lots of artists with small audiences. What we should have by now are lots of artists with big audiences. The internet should in theory allow any musician to make it big.

      The problem however is that the music labels don't want new and unpredictable competition and so the markets are heavily stacked against independent musicians. How can any content delivery company make genuine attempts to interest customers in independent music when they rely on the goodwill of the big labels to license catalogues which in turn is what attracts the punters to their service in the first place?

      The only real option for independent musicians is to go it alone, to try and promote and sell their music recordings by themselves. This is where piracy creates problems. Post an independent artist's music on a torrent site and suddenly the musician has to take time away from creating music or selling music to defend their copyright. Without big money and a legal department backing them up, defending copyright starts taking up ridiculous amounts of their time.

      Why bother defending copyright though, surely it's just free advertising right? Perhaps at first but it really doesn't take long for the number of sites offering a musician's song for free to swamp the places it can be legitimately bought. Imagine you're a week a way from pay day and you simply must have the new [favourite artist]'s album. You go to Google to bring up that artist's page in order to check the price and see if it's within your budget. When you enter the search query though, 9 of the top 10 results are sites offering you the album for free. What do you do?

      Yes there are nice people who never pirate but the rest of us don't live in quite such a black and white world. There are people, even just in this thread, who will openly admit that copyright infringement is wrong and then go and torrent something because they don't want to wait a month for a release. They're also unlikely to buy a legitimate copy when it is released either because by that point there's some new shiny on the horizon that demands their cash. Don't get me wrong, a staggered release date is massive stupidity on behalf of the labels and drives people towards piracy, I'm merely using it as an example of how small a push it really takes to make somebody go running to the 'bay.

      As for a solution? It's stumped people who are vastly more intelligent than myself. I can only offer one suggestion:

      Starve the big labels of your cash and eventually these dinosaurs will die out but don't promote piracy because it harms most those who can least afford it, the small content producers.

  7. Homer 1 Silver badge
    Holmes

    "moved on from the early movie dramas"

    That might explain why the Content® is so crap, and therefore why nobody wants to pay for it.

    Maybe if we had fewer comic-book adaptations, suitable only for brain-dead American teenagers, and more well-written dramas, suitable for intelligent adults, there might actually be something worth paying for.

    I find the MAFIAA's denialism and arrogance quite perplexing. They produce the most abominable garbage, violently insist that we pay for it, then scratch their heads in bewilderment and anger when we refuse to do so.

    Fix the Content® first, before worrying about how to "protect" it.

    The "IP" fraternity would also do well to remember that it was their choice to invest in the sort of business that attempts to monetise something so ethereal, so there's little point in their whining about the difficulties associated with monopolising it. They just have to accept that something which can be so easily copied, will be copied, and learn to sell it on a more equitable basis, if they want to sell it at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "moved on from the early movie dramas"

      > Maybe if we had fewer comic-book adaptations, suitable only for brain-dead American teenagers, and more well-written dramas, suitable for intelligent adults, there might actually be something worth paying for.

      Some comic books are well written dramas suitable for intelligent adults. The Hollywood versions are either bastardised beyond recognition or taken from the worst the genre has to offer.

      The problem is that the lowest common denominator crap sells best. You can heavily market it to millions of people and all you need to do is provide a bare minimum of quality so that the consumer doesn't actively hate your product.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: "moved on from the early movie dramas"

      "Maybe if we had fewer comic-book adaptations, suitable only for brain-dead American teenagers, and more well-written dramas, suitable for intelligent adults"

      Well the irony there is the comic-book adaptations are frequently about the most intelligent and well-written dramas you find among mainstream blockbusters these days. The Avengers is written extremely well (as it should be, since Joss Whedon wrote it).

      1. Homer 1 Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Joss who?

        (Quick Google later...)

        Ah yes, Mr. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and lots of stuff cancelled by the networks.

        If such literary "genius" is the benchmark by which today's Content® is judged, this really must be the end of the line for western culture.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Homer1

          One would almost think you were forced to pay for and watch these films that you dislike so much. Or perhaps a perceived drop in quality is just a handy excuse to placate your conscience when you don't pay but watch anyway?

          1. Homer 1 Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: "forced to watch"

            Who said I watch them? If I manage to endure an entire trailer it's a miracle. I don't need to watch an entire film or programme to know it's basically just for kiddies, of the overgrown variety or otherwise.

            As for paying: I, and everyone else with the audacity to buy a television set in the UK, already pay the BBC Tax for the "privilege", even though I never watch broadcast TV any more, and haven't done so for years. I'm relegated to watching stuff from the pre-junk (i.e. reality-TV/comic-book movie) era, all of which I'm sure I've already paid for several times over, over the course of many years, in various media, and I'll be damned if I see why I should have to pay for it yet again.

            1. Fibbles

              Re: "forced to watch"

              If you don't watch or record broadcast TV, why do you pay for a TV licence? You're not legally required to have one for watching your pre-existing media (DVDs, VHS, etc).

              1. Dom 1

                Re: "forced to watch"

                Ah, but if your playback device (TV, PC, Video etc) is *capable* of receiving broadcast signals, then you MUST have a TV license - whether you actually watch the broadcast or not.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "forced to watch"

              @Homer1, if you don't watch broadcast TV, you don't need a TV license.

        2. Thorne

          Re: Joss who?

          I have to agree with you Homer. All the content you like should be DRM'ed up the wazoo and Batman and the Avengers should be left alone.

          "I can't watch the Notebook or the Lakehouse on my iPad!! NOOOOOOOOOOO"

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "moved on from the early movie dramas"

        Then you have V for Vendetta and Watchmen, both based on serious, thrilling graphic novels. But as others have said, when you have 1 million intellectuals who will plunk down $50 for serious content vs. 10 million sheep willing to pay $10 each for the latest drivel which costs less to produce than the serious stuff, guess who wins.

  8. tony2heads
    Pirate

    fungibility

    You only wrote all that to put in fungibility

    But the evidence from the publishing business is that it could have been done properly from the start

  9. Arrrggghh-otron

    "In the past every new wave of technology has delivered healthy creative markets - but today this is no longer happening."

    If you truly believe that you are looking in the wrong places... the creativity coming out of the Maker movement and Reprap community is amazing.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    two points

    "...but in peacetime it's the demand for culture and entertainment that spurs the most innovation." Actually, I believe that the pornography industry has been driving the innovation engine in recent times.

    "In essence, the Nexus is a kind of DRM dongle for content that doesn't have DRM, and will never need DRM, because it's worthless and will never need "protecting"." I believe the sound that you just heard was: woosh! Perhaps, if Google produce a DRM'd system that will allow them to securely (defined by MPIAA/RIAA) deliver content, wouldn't it be likely that the content providers would either 1) line up to have their content delivered via this method or 2) license said technology and deliver the content themselves?

    1. Justicesays
      Unhappy

      Re: two points

      >Perhaps, if Google produce a DRM'd system that will allow them to securely (defined by MPIAA/RIAA) deliver >content, wouldn't it be likely that the content providers would either 1) line up to have their content delivered to >the US and Canada via this method or 2) license said technology and deliver the content to the US and >Canada themselves?

      Fixed that for you.

  11. Justicesays
    FAIL

    Geographical availability

    That is what screws up most of these business models right away.

    If you actually cannot get the media in your country, but know it is out there, there is a huge incentive to obtain it via "alternative sources".

    Three years ago I could surf to any ebook vendor site and download anything they had on sale.

    Now they all have "only available in the US and canada" everywhere.

    Amazon.co.uk has "This publisher has not yet made this book available on kindle"

    If you are lucky the ebook version will turn up in the UK at some point, months down the line.But sometimes not even then, as if the book is niche enough , it will never get its rights bought in this country.

    WTF? This made some sense when you would actually have to commission a print run in the country concerned, but we are talking about making some computer bits legally copyable.

    And if you do make them copyable, you will make money you will otherwise not make.

    Even dumber when the book wont be hard copy printed in the country for the same niche reason.

    Some kind of mass foot shooting going on out there.

    The same with films that were released in the US well ahead of the UK theatrical release (sometime the US DVD was coming out before they arrive in UK cinemas)

    And the first posters P!nk example as well.

    These are the companies who thought DVD regions were a good idea, and would actually accomplish anything (top tip, the DVD player doesn't actually know what country it is in)

    1. lozhurst
      Thumb Down

      Re: Geographical availability

      >Now they all have "only available in the US and canada" everywhere.

      >

      >Amazon.co.uk has "This publisher has not yet made this book available on kindle"

      >

      >If you are lucky the ebook version will turn up in the UK at some point, months down the line.But sometimes not even then, as if the book is niche enough , it will never get its rights bought in this country.

      Hear, hear. I find it particularly irritating, as a Kindle owner, to find that some internationally published (in paperback) mainstream fiction books are available for Kindle on amazon.com but not amazon.co.uk and therefore I can't get them.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Geographical availability

        This drives me utterly barmy.

        I want to give you my money for $ELECTRONIC_FILE, yet you refuse point blank to take it because I don't happen to live in the USA.

        I'm even happy to give it to you in US Dollars and take the currency exchange risk upon myself, yet you still refuse.

        So I can either go without or infringe the copyright. (And in this case, infringing demonstrably doesn't harm you.)

        While it might become available for me to buy months or years later, by then I've forgotten about it/am no longer interested. In many cases it never becomes available to me.

        Either way, somebody else gets my money for something else. Well done, that region-lock was a great idea!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Technology angle?

    I'm not sure what any of this has to do with technology. Problems are solved, new problems appear. The technology ones seem to be solved at an ever increasing rate. The social, geographical, political and economics ones take longer.

  13. PyLETS
    FAIL

    Like radio or CDs ?

    The music business seems to have been able to do a deal with Internet radio stations. I remember reading a few articles when both sides were negotiating hard a few years ago when Internet radio stations were threatening to cease broadcasting to get prices down and eventually the 2 sides thrashed out a deal. Looking recently at what's available I was amazed at the growth of channels catering for all musical tastes.

    But here there's no pretence of trying to recreate anything like the packaged CD business. No attempt to control what the radio stations play. No need to know exactly who is listening to what - though presumably there's some means of getting audited listener counts and sampling song popularity so the royalties can be billed and split with a degree of objectivity.

    So why can't they license ISPs to carry P2P music in a similar manner ?

  14. Real Ale is Best
    FAIL

    Game of Thrones

    GoT is typical of the content producer's broken thinking. Currently (I believe) the most pirated series ever, it is a shining example of how not to distribute media.

    Basically, it was shown on restricted channels, and in restricted regions of the world, and not made available to buy. And it's bloody good. Thus it has been downloaded by pretty much everybody, and their dog.

    Maybe I have a rosy tint to my glasses, but I believe that most people don't want to download illegally, they just have to, either because it is the only way, or because it is so much easier, than paying for it.

    There's not even a date on Amazon UK for the season 2 box set, but I'm willing to bet everyone has downloaded it by bit torrent already.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101
      Thumb Up

      Re: Game of Thrones

      You must be referring to this:

      http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

    2. Neil B
      Devil

      Re: Game of Thrones

      Yeah, agreed, in general. It took almost a year for GoT to appear on DVD/BD, absolutely crazy in this day and age.

      However stupid that decision was, though, it's still HBO's decision. It's still HBO's product. They might only have been able to get the finance together by promising to withhold the series from home media for that long. Maybe Sky and others with rights to HBO shows put unreasonable conditions on their purchase of the series, and HBO thought, well, it's better than not getting made *at all*, so what the hell.

      Ultimately you're not entitled to something for free simply because you really really really want it, and next time you decide to torrent something instead of paying for it, you might just find you've caused the show you love to be cancelled.

      1. tom dial Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Game of Thrones

        The argument made was that many/most would have paid a reasonable price willingly but were not willing to wait for an indeterminate period until they could purchase on physical media or stream or download it for such a reasonable price. So they averted their eyes and downloaded it where they could. So the distributors passed on an opportunity to take in possibly substantial amounts from honesty-inclined consumers who succumbed to their frustration, probably the great majority. Instead, they set up barriers and whine about "piracy."

        If they were rational economic actors they would operate to maximize income. That probably would entail making the movie/program/music available, setting up an easy way for consumers to buy the product, and setting a reasonable price for it. They could recognize, as stores for physical goods do, that some people are going to cheat, and institute some reasonable measures to limit that, but if the price is right and purchasing is easy, most people will take the honest path.

        For all the favorable comments about book publishers, I don't think they are a lot better than the MPAA and RIAA, what with DRM encumbered eBook prices much the same as those for printed books. Most eBooks should carry a price significantly lower than their printed and bound equivalents, because they are distinctly inferior to paper in that they are not transferable or lendable (or, for libraries, can only be lent a fixed number of times before they die).

        Most "content" producers have devoted great effort to various to enforcing and perpetuating their monopolies and not nearly so much to selling products to their potential paying customers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Game of Thrones

        I paid for season 1 while watching season 2.

        I could have watched it for free in Australia if I was keen on ads and waiting a year.

        There's nothing that has been generated by the music industry in years that has tempted me to give them any money, and their acting like asshats hasn't encouraged giving them any either. I went looking around at music the other day, I want CDs as the best of a bad lot (compression wise), but I can't even get a (horrible) 96kbps mp3 copy to listen to to see if I want to buy. The music industry has thrived on selling it's back catalogue for years, and they're basically denying access to it..

        I'm also not impressed by being good enough to drag my ass to the movie theatre and give them money to be shown an ad about how piracy (of the major American release I'm watching) is destroying the local Australian industry. 1) bollocks, 2) if I downloaded it at home I wouldn't have to put up with this garbage. The content industries continually penalise purchasing with unskippable ads and DRM and wonder why oh why don't people buy more?

        I think next time I might try and encourage some 5 year olds to put on a play. They'll appreciate the $20 more, probably be a lot funnier/more entertaining, and behave a lot better than the content industries.

  15. hamsterjam
    Headmaster

    This stuff predates the Web...

    Anybody heard of Personics?

    In the late 80's a company called Personics invented a system which allowed visitors to a record store to make their own mixtapes from a list of tracks displayed at a kiosk in a record shop. (The tapes were made from special CDs mastered at 4x speed, recording on tapes at 4x speed, so a C-90 took about 25 minutes to make). You could thus sample tracks, make your own compilations and try out stuff over days rather than the minutes an in-store listen gives you.

    Just like taping from your friend's record collection except everybody got paid.

    The problem was that the record business was about selling pieces of plastic. Personics wasn't pieces of plastic. So the major labels didn't license their music to Personics and because of a paucity of content Personics died.

    I remember being extremely impressed by it and making a tape just because it was a cool thing.

    Already then, it was clear that the record business was the buggy-whip business with lawyers. If there had been anybody with clout in the major labels who could see the benefits of decoupling the content from the media Personics would have thrived, and there would have been a precedent and a model from the first days of the commercial WWW. But of course if the Queen had balls...

    The European indie label I was working for at the time was distributed in the US by Epic, so we were blocked from getting involved.

    Later during my time in the record game, an extremely well-connected person once told me that the true power in the US record labels lay with the bean-counters who juggled the margins on the wholesale prices of the records and tapes, and that to them the content was irrelevant. The experience of Personics, together with the subsequent RIAA monkey-business against consumers would seem to bear this out.

  16. Amazing Stace
    Megaphone

    Part of the problem, particularly when it comes to TV shows is that channel packages like Sky are the televisual equivalent of having to buy an album to get one song.

    This is a sort of dual edged sword.

    On the one hand, it means that if you want to watch just one show (lets use Game of Thrones as the examplehere) you need to buy a package, which will also pay towards content you will never ever watch, be it gameshows, sports, documentaries, whatever.

    However it also means that you might be able to discover a great show which you never would have paid for up front without seeing any.

    If ( like me ) you are resentful of the deluge of crap surrounding the desired content, and you don't buy into the channel, you will find out about the good shows because of the people who bought in and were then able to talk about it.

    One interesting thought experiment is this: imagine Game of Thrones was made into a TV series available solely on DVD, globally, all at once. Who would drop the funds for the box set without having seen it? Where would the budget come from to make a program like that?

    When you package so much content into a single price point, the successes pay for the flops. If each has to stand on its own merit, you have the same situation as movies and games where a flop can end a production studio and the big players all start to edge away from risk.

    It's sort of like the Beeb. The unique way in which Sky/BBC is funded allows Sky/BBC to take risks on larger more innovative programming. The difference is you can choose to buy into Sky or not. This goes for any paid channel package, I just mention Sky because it's the first one that comes to mind. There's also Virgin Media and... um... I think that's it in the UK. Wow, only two players.

    One way that these exclusive content creators can make back their investment in countries where they don't provide a channel is to arrange exclusive license deals with other channels in those local regions. Obviously the country of origin for the content producer is the first to get it but if they release globally they're reducing the possibility of license fees from 'exclusive' rights to global markets. Given that roughly the same number of people will end up buying the DVD set eventually anyway it's like a way to sell the same content many times. Like cinema releases followed by DVD releases and then TV license deals. It's all about multiple sales of the content to the same people. The content costs a lot to make, I'm not surprised they want to monetise the successes as much as possible.

  17. Captain Underpants
    Meh

    I think you've missed a couple of important things, Andrew.

    Firstly, your suggestion about tokens - I get what you're talking about, but it's not going to fly. Bundling Spotify/iTunes credit/Amazon MP3 store credit/eMusic download bundles might fly, but people have been trying to create a universal micropayment system for years and they've never taken off, mainly because too much faffery. And there's a nontrivial risk of just following the XKCD "Standards" issue if you try to fix that one without planning very carefully while being very lucky (http://xkcd.com/927/, for reference).

    Secondly, the biggest single solution for the "internet economy" would be for the copyright holding companies to stop being dickheads acting like they still live in the late 90s. You'd think it was obvious, but apparently it's not. Example: I like The Big Bang Theory. I'd really quite like to watch new episodes as soon as I can. The copyright holding company's view about this is that the US gets the premiere first of all (fair enough, it's produced by a US network). UK networks get to wait somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks for those new episodes, then we get to wait a good bit more for the DVD release. The same delays apply to digital releases via iTunes (currently the only online store I know of that does download-to-own video sales, which is another bit of fuckwittery in action).

    There is no good reason for this. Not with a new show that has been developed at a point where networks are aware of streaming and downloading as viewing options. So why are the contracts still set up in such a backwards fashion? Because they're being written and designed by old men who have no understanding of how their audience works.

    Now you tell me how many people in the target audience for any modern television show will say "Well, it's not released here for another 8 weeks because the studio's thinking with someone's bellend again when negotiating international distribution rights, so let's just sit and wait for it"? And how many will say "fuck them, fire up bigtimeawesometorrentbucket.com and we'll be watching it in 15 minutes"?

    TL;DR - go read the comic at TheOatmeal about trying to watch Game Of Thrones (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones). It summarises the experience of anyone trying to watch any modern video content. (Music isn't subject to as many retarded constraints purely because it's more feasible for an artist to self-release, but as a result TV & film companies are training their audiences to pirate stuff in the exact same way that music companies did for ages...)

  18. moiety

    The main problem with the copyright industry isn't being late to market; although that is a factor. It's their attitude and strategy of kneeling on their own customer's windpipes -legally speaking- introducing punitive measures in order to protect an outdated business model. All stick and no carrot.

    Declaring war on both your own customers and the technically-savvy people who are the very ones who could help you just is never going to be a winning strategy.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fails to reach the heart of the matter

    Orlowski's title looked promising but his argument was a complete load of bollocks.

    "The current impasse between technology and copyright sectors is certainly an odd one."

    Bollocks: the copyright holders are controlling the flow of money and will not relinquish the same without force. Human greed drives all factions in the debate.

    "At the heart of this virtuous circle, copyright has been the obscure back-room business-to-business mechanism that keeps the players honest."

    Bollocks: copyright has been the mechanism which protects the few power holders from the wishes of the general public.

    "The markets are either sickly or don't exist, and an enormous amount of money that should be flowing both to innovative internet companies and creative industries isn't."

    Bollocks: money should not be flowing to INDUSTRIES, it should be flowing to creative people now that computing and the Internet have removed the need for the middlemen operating 'the industries'. An inexpensive Internet should become the new 'middleman' and the old industries should be retired. Quickly.

    [1. Authors should be able to self-publish without publishing houses taking huge cuts.

    2. Money should move between your computer and my computer, without the need for banks or VISA taking a huge cut.

    3. Telecommunications giants should be cut down to manage only backbones connecting community-funded OPLAN's.

    4. Whilst Moore's law still holds the cost of computing and networking should be halving every 18 months. Then it should be divided by 10 once the cloud allows efficient sharing of resources (currently wasted in the business model which enforces everyone to buy their own individual item).

    5. etc etc.

    "The simple thing is to get both sides focussed on making money."

    Bollocks: the best thing is push for a global devaluation of IT by effiecint sharing facilitated by a cloud architecture NOT controlled by the current incumbents.

    "I suspect money is the key, though."

    No shit!

    "How can we realign the players in an internet economy that has gone so badly off the rails?"

    Replace the incumbent industries with the Internet i.e. just as canals disappeared from the economy once trains had been invented; so newspapers, music publishers, local Telecommunications, basic banking operations ... and the like should die out rapidly. In all previous Industrial Revolutions the incumbent operators went out of business or were marginalised. The difference his time is that they have global reach and power against feeble Governmnets and apathetic consumers - it will be much more difficult to oust them.

    Don't start me on estate agents and lawyers :-(

    1. Paul Sanders

      Re: Fails to reach the heart of the matter

      I spy a Unicorn in this comment. Have you ever tried to form a contract with 'the Internet" and get money for your creative content? And I suspect there is a good reason why the Bank of England has not yet promised to pay the bearer of a p2p 'internet cash' token.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Fails to reach the heart of the matter

        So your argument is to destroy the industry as a whole rather than the near-monopolistic industry 'leaders'? I guess you'll sit around afterwards wondering why all these independent content producers aren't creating anything as complex as the Game Of Thrones tv series? The fact is the industry is useful for gathering together talent, sourcing funding and providing the whole enterprise with structure. The problem is that the industry is currently dominated by entrenched players who have no will to innovate.

  20. El Presidente
    Windows

    Copyright holders are NOT controlling the flow of money

    Copyright holders are controlling the flow of original content.

    Remove copyright and the flow will turn into a trickle.

    It's the licensor(s) who control the flow of money, either collected from advertisers or via subscription and paid to the copyright holders to create content. That's your directors, film camera people, editors, writers, stills ... then there's the vast industries supporting the creatives .... Everything from catering to wardrobe to stunts to runners.

    If the licensor(s) can't see a clear way to profit then they won't pay for original content.

    Copyright is the least problematic of the so called "problem" yet vopyright it's the main focus of so many misguided commentards.

    Preserving copyright is key to providing an incentive for people to create the sort of content viewers want to watch. Remove copyright, remove incentive. Get even more bland homogenised content.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: Copyright holders are NOT controlling the flow of money

      @El Presidente:

      I'm not sure your logic holds up, tbh.

      I've seen a number of TV & film productions distributed by their producers as free-to-watch (for examples, Pioneer One and The Tunnel). They seem to be using a mix of investment, crowdfunding, and after-viewing media sales to their audience as their revenue streams. Of the stuff I've watched, everything has been more original and less homogenised, but the production values have been more variable.

      Copyright is important in helping to provide a clear path to profit, but it's far less relevant now that we're talking about media distribution via widely available copying machines than it would have been when the ability for a random punter to eg print a knock-off copy of a book was fairly low. Focusing exclusively on "copyright protected distribution methods" and leaving other, faster and more convenient methods as being purely the domain of filthy pirates is foolish.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Captain Underpants

        Surely copyright is now even more important 'now that we're talking about media distribution via widely available copying machines', after all, the creators still need to be paid. Despite your assertion there is no technical reason why copyrighted works can't be shared across the internet in a fast and convenient manner (via p2p say) whilst still compensating the rights holder. There is nothing in copyright law holding this back either (although I admit figuring out what to do about orphaned works is a PITA). The only thing holding us back from this unicorn filled utopia are companies with existing large back catalogues of copyrighted content who are of the view that preventing such a future is in their best interest even though it is not.

        1. Captain Underpants

          Re: Captain Underpants

          Hmm, I think I didn't express myself particularly well last time.

          Copyright as a concept is still important, obviously, but the enforcement mechanisms that traditionally accompany it are predicated on the idea that infringement is labour- and time-intensive and therefore most likely to be committed in bulk by someone looking to profit from it (eg that US publisher who was printing unauthorised paperback copies of the LotR books in the sixties).

          Now that we're talking about billions of people regularly using information-copying machines on a global network, infringement is frequently not labour- or time-intensive, so copyright holders need to adapt their strategy. It should be evident, at this point, that DRM is a mug's game - for almost all AV content, it just makes the legal offering look rubbish compared to the pirate offering (see all the DVDs with stupid anti-piracy warnings & trailers embedded in an unskippable format at the start of the content, or the stupid "Free digital copy included!" variants where you get an expiring DRM'd copy in some rubbish format like WMV). We've got as close to Steam as we're going to for video with the likes of Netflix, but as long as distribution rights continue to operate on the basis of technically-obsolete region definitions, the industry and its audience are at odds.

  21. User McUser
    Flame

    No no no no no...

    "[...] bundle tokens you can spend on the music and movie services of your choice. You could top up anywhere at any time."

    We already have this; it's called MONEY. Money is accepted world-wide for all manner of goods and services including entertainment. I give 99¢ to Apple and they give me a song. I give $1.99 to Amazon, they give me a TV show. Why in the world would you need to abstract currency any further than it already is? This obfuscates the true cost of the content being purchased, complicates the purchasing process by adding an intermediate step of obtaining the tokens, and provides absolutely **no benefit** to the consumer.

    Conversely it provides a tremendous benefit to the content providers. Casinos make you use chips when you gamble (in part) because psychologically gamblers don't treat chips the same way they treat hard currency. They are more likely to make impulsive decisions with chips than they would with hard currency. Add to this the fact that many/most of the existing services that abstract money (eg: XBox Live Points) will only sell you blocks of tokens (usually multiples of five) and then rig the "prices" so you can't ever actually spend all of it. The remainder just sits there like an 80's arcade token; it cost you money but you'll never be able to use it. (http://pvponline.com/comic/2009/03/12/match-points)

    Furthermore, tokenizing money allows the companies to play currency exchange rates to their benefit and your detriment. If 500 points is $5.00 in the US, it might be £5.00 in the UK. In that scenario Brits pay more for the same exact product merely due to the exchange rate. (This last bit, of course, has been going on for years with actual money; I presume abstraction would serve only to embolden the practice.)

    I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode where they go to Itchy and Scratchy Land and Homer buys "Itchy and Scratchy Fun Money" after being told it's "money that's made just for the park. It works just like regular money, but it's, er... 'fun' " Then none of the vendors inside accept I&S money and oh, there's no refunds. (http://www.snpp.com/episodes/2F01.html)

    "There's really no open, interoperable standard for taking songs on a mobile phone and playing them wirelessly on any speaker [...]"

    This also exists, though it isn't widely implemented. The Bluetooth A2DP profile lets me stream music from my iOS device to my car stereo and then take that same device with me and stream to my Bluetooth headphones. Add the appropriate chips to your stereo receiver and you have exactly what you describe. Bluetooth probably doesn't qualify as an "open" standard, but it exists now and it works cross-platform.

    1. PyLETS
      Thumb Down

      Re: No no no no no...

      I think there are many more people buying telecommunications this way - e.g. you get 300 minutes, 1000 texts and 2GB internet all for £10/month. Same goes for season tickets on public transport, and paying a higher landline flat rate and getting "free" calls. Hardly anyone buys Internet connectivity on price/Mb these day, and when you do it's a ripoff (e.g. use of data on roaming abroad).

      The advantage to the consumer is you know what it will cost. The advantage to the provider is regular and known income. That's also how a radio station pays for broadcast rights on music, so why should it be so wrong for an ISP to negotiate a similar kind of deal on behalf of customers with music rightsholders if both sides believe they benefit ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        USD-GBP exchange rate

        "you get 300 minutes, 1000 texts and 2GB internet all for £10/month".

        Interestingly, this is one area where the USD-GBP exchange rate works in the other direction - that bundle would cost you $30 (if you could get it - because there isn't any real competition between the GSM and CDMA incumbents in the US, that sort of bundle isn't a mainstream option).

        Broadband/TV/Phone bundles are usually much more expensive in the US - while the headline price that is offered to new customers is typically ~$90, the actual price (after the 6 month introductory pricing, and after including the mandatory set-top box rental that isn't included in the advertised price, plus the federal and local "taxes" that are actually not mandated by federal or local givernment) is more likely to be ~$140-$200/month.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A couple of issues....

    "Another inconvenience is playing music. There's really no open, interoperable standard for taking songs on a mobile phone and playing them wirelessly on any speaker – whether it's in a rented car, an office or a friend's house."

    Ummm - Bluetooth/A2DP?

    But the real issue is this - I will happily buy content, but I insist upon one thing: DON'T TRY TO SCREW ME. I have a multiplicity of devices - tablets, computers, (semi-)smart TVs, phones - all of which can play media. DO NOT try to lock media to only one of those devices. DO NOT prevent me from backing up the content. DO NOT require special software to access it. Now that I can buy MP3s from Amazon, with none of that silly lock-in, I do so. I don't do Ultraviolate (mis-spelling deliberate) because it won't work on all my devices - why not just rip the DVD for my own use? I also do not like media which requires a phone-home to use - unless the media vendor is willing to escrow unlocked versions and the funds to distribute them to all rightful owners in the event of them getting out of the business.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the problem is people want to reward the creative people who create the media, they just don't want to fund giant greedy organisations who want to make huge profits and give a small slice of it to the artist.

    Kickstarter style funding is the future for films and music. Rather than film studios spending millions in advance the film makers should pitch the ideas to the consumer via sites like Kickstarter, secure funding and then provide something back to the pledgers.

    1. Fibbles

      So the future is interest free loans to creatives that require the creative to share no profit with the lenders? With kickstarter style systems the creative can also either A) have the customer pay for the product up front before production so that they have no chance to preview or B) have the customer donate some money up front to get the product made and then still charge them for the product once it's released.

      As somebody who works in the creative industries I really want to live in you envisioned future. It won't be very nice for the rest of you though.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a Producer, Programmer, Promoter

    I had ASCAP and BMI, I also had contact with 3000 bands and labels. ISP's are not going to buy ASCAP / BMI licenses for their users any more than one user buying a UMG license for $8000 a year. The problem has been the over-reaction with laws. The laws chased me away after running a show for 6 years. Today I see articles of examples of exactly why I left on JAN 1, 2012.

    1. Music site domain seized by ICE (that's for sites that aren't in the US. IF you are in the US, you are toast.)

    2. The ability of people to point the finger at you, and you disappear.

    3. Bloggers aren't journalists. Yeah right

    4. Snooping, I just want to air, broadcast, and play music, but I don't need DHS watching me, looking for nanny state keywords, who know what happens next time I fly?!

    5. The laws have become untenable, unidentifiable, you know what they say about ignorance of the law.

    6. The LABELS couldn't tell me what the fuck the law was.

    7. The SOPA/PIPA/ACTA whatever the fuck-a were done in secret, with no public input. And no one guy with 5 minutes who gets interrupted every 15 seconds isn't public input. IT's CONSPIRACY. Start signing TREATIES and I think it's TREASON. But I digress since I just got the hell out.

    8. Social Websites - Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Google - read their spy docs on Cryptome. Why would I subject myself to that? For the records, I Had more users on MySpace than some small bands did. Twitter I dumped when they said they were going to make it part of the Library of Congress Archives, Facebook I never joined cause I saw the writing on the wall from DAY 1, and Google spys everything, so I dumped everything googls.

    9. Copyright itself, trying to figure out which video, song can be played where. Especially when they are sitting on a time-line with no cover sheet.

    Who the fuck wants to deal with this shit anymore. I just wanted to do art, promote music, create videos for bands, and let them get their message out to the world. I made a lot of friends, and a lot of videos. If you want to do this now, it's best to be with no assets, that way it's a dis-incentive to sue, since there is no money. Don't try to make a profit.

  25. Paul_Murphy

    Amazon vs Coulton

    I wanted to buy an album from Amazon.co.uk, because I liked a certain track, and was rather pleased to see that I could download it at a reasonable price

    Then things went pear-shaped, I had to install a downloader (for some reason) but since I was on 64-bit linux they didn't have a compatible installer.

    After a deal of faffing around I gave up and instead paid for and downloaded the actual track I was interested in.

    Then I went onto eBay and bought the album at a lot less than Amazon were asking.

    So Amazon lost some money they would have got from me, though I guess an ebayer got a little richer.

    Vs Jonathon Coulton, whose websites' music section (http://www.jonathancoulton.com/store/downloads/) even has a bit 'Already Stole It?' since he knows it's going to happen anyway.

    Coultons website allows me to pay and download the exact tracks I want, or the complete album should want that.

    In my book the independant artist who knows his audience stands a better chance of making the internet work for them, by spreading their music to a wider audience and getting out of people what they are willing to pay.

    ttfn

    1. spiny norman
      FAIL

      Re: Amazon vs Coulton

      >> Then things went pear-shaped, I had to install a downloader (for some reason) but since I was on 64-bit linux they didn't have a compatible installer.

      It's not good, even on Windows. I went to buy a couple of tracks off an album I've owned since about 1970. I thought it would be easier than transfering from vinyl and worth the small cost. Having selected the tracks and gone through the WTF of installing software to download them, the downloader then decided to download, and charge me for, the entire album. I then had to search my hard drive for the mp3s and move them, because it puts them somewhere that's presumably convenient to Amazon, not the user.

      I have yet to find a legal download service that will just give me link I can download from straight out of the browser.

  26. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  27. John Sanders
    Linux

    This war is lost

    The pirates won a decade ago.

    DIVX

    MKV

    OGG

    FLAC

    And many others, all of them much, much, more flexible than the "legitimate" counterparts.

    I want control over my files and devices, that's why Google doesn't build a rocket to serve the media companies.

    They are building rockets just to get to your back garden, where the goodies have been for agood ~10 years.

  28. Freshp2
    Holmes

    VP.....

    God bless you. finally someone had the balls to speak the truth. thats a good one, make the black market white.

  29. croc
    Megaphone

    Problem solved...

    Make it simple to use, on any device I wish, and charge me a reasonable fee, OK? Good now? Off you go, then.

  30. MartinB105
    Pirate

    A. Pay for film.

    B. Download film.

    C. Play film on my HTPC running XBMC.

    It's so simple. Yet it is still impossible to this day. Piracy it is then.

  31. Paul Hampson 1

    The music industry ignores supply and demand and its effects on value

    Th eproblem is that the old way of distributing music meant they could control the supply that consumers percieved (the top 10) this meant the demand for these was artificially high and the value of the products was also high, and artificially structured (all CD/Vinyl cost a similar amount whether they were super popular or less so). This has changed, the top 10 is now the top 100, people can now get individual songs and not albums with 60% filler so their perception of the value of the product has reduced but the Music industry can't handle that ("Spotify is both too expensive[for the users] and too cheap [for the labels] at the same time"). Until percieved value and sale value align piracy will remain a major problem and legal retailers will suffer.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only piece of music i have bought in the last 7 years (I don't listen much and when i do commercial radio mostly covers it plus stuff left over from when i was a teenager) Was Christopher tin's calling all dawns. Now this was not only bought due to the fantastic music but the fact that it was affordable $9.99 so something like £7 but i could get it with out DRM it is now on itunes on my desktop and my wife's ipod (used in the bedroom so i can listen there) , my phone and a usb stick into the tv to be played back on the HiFi (yes i don't have a clever digital hifi as i said music is not important to me).

    Would i have been able to do all of this if it was an itunes purchase? and more importantly what is the reason that i should buy the same product 4 times to make use of it in the environments i would want to.

    I do have a number of Torrented tv series however but even with 2 VM TiVo's (dont get me started on how big a failure they, are 150 episodes of criminal minds duplicats and previously watched episodes constantly being recorded due to limited control how hard is a viewd flag against an episode list on a computer..) I would be unable to watch them.

    Stargate SG1 (I was out of the country when it was released) i recorded a few shows and have attempted to catch it so many times on tv but real life always gets in the way of keeping on top of it I do pay a suitably large amount for tv subscriptions (no idea how that goes to production companies or even if it is enough compensation but it is what the market is offering) the others are US / Japanese shows that are not yet in the UK if they ever will be for no reason that I can identify or are not available to me through the delivery medium I have available cable / satalite exclusives.

    As has been said before access to our choice of media on the medium we want at the speed and times we want them is possible (torrents etc.), so why not legitimately with out having to pay unreasonable costs (sorry but £5 for a a single series episode to me is unreasonable comparing it against channel subscriptions).

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "As has been said before access to our choice of media on the medium we want at the speed and times we want them is possible (torrents etc.), so why not legitimately with out having to pay unreasonable costs (sorry but £5 for a a single series episode to me is unreasonable comparing it against channel subscriptions)."

      This is PRECISELY the problem. The music industry wants to force us to double-dip, triple-dip, or whatever. As they say in economics, there's no business like REPEAT business: rentals and leases, over sales, viewing fees, etc. This isn't just with media but with real-world products, too: the operative term is "planned obsolescence". Sure, you can sell a vacuum cleaner that lasts for 100 years, but once everyone buys your vacuum, what do you do in the meantime, hmm? Also in healthcare; you'll never see a cure come out of a purely private pharmaceutical firm, for the same reasons.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019