Content Companies Need The Internet More Than It Needs Them

from the that's-a-weird-way-of-doing-things dept

One of the biggest myths about entertainment content online is that copy protection is somehow needed in order for content companies to agree to put content online. As has been shown repeatedly, this is not a requirement, and plenty of companies have recognized the value in selling or giving away unencumbered content. What's really the issue is that no one needs the traditional entertainment industry's content online. Those companies all want to go online, because they know that's where people are looking these days -- but online is is not a broadcast medium, it's an interactive one. It did fine without broadcast style content in the past. The truth is that the content providers need the online world more than the online world needs it. That's why it's so annoying to see more people repeating the myth that copy protection is needed for things like Linux to become a "success." It's not. What's needed is for the content companies to recognize that making their products worse by locking them down, removing fair use rights and making their own content less valuable is a bad long term strategy. No one should be changing their products just to suit the entertainment industry. If the traditional content providers don't want to adapt, that's their problem.


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  1.  
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    Patrick Mullen, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 12:00pm

    I wonder how many content providers are concerned about "fair use." I doubt any of them would have any problem if I could put the music I buy onto any device I own for my own use. That seems fair. I think what they are concerned about is I buy their product, then give it to all my friends, their friends, and so on.

    If people just want free, then sooner or later they will end up with free stuff, but the free stuff won't be very good.

     

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  2.  
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    eb, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 12:19pm

    What content providers want

    What they actually want is a system whereby you will pay each time you access your electronic media. What you're seeing now is only the tip of the iceberg. They're going to have a problem with what you consider fair use, believe me.

     

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  3.  
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    Grumpy Old Man, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    I would say most of the Big Content Providers are. If the truly were only concerned with sharing they would provide consumers with a means to get multi formats of material with proof of purchase of said material. For example I show proof of purchase of "happy pony goes to town" DVD, I would then be eligible for their DRM'ed file for my Ipod. However the industry’s standard response has always been, if you want it in format "x" too you must purchase it again in said format. Business is not about "fair" it is about maximizing "PROFITS". Sad that most do not realize many would buy more if they could use it on any of their devices.

    Just my 2cp

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 1:18pm

    " but online is is not a broadcast medium, it's an interactive one."

    AArrggghh! Stop it! Get over it! It's both.

    The difference is online CAN be interactive. It does not have to be, and increasingly it will not be beyond initial user intitiated activity.

    C'mon, deal with it! Interactivity is a feature, not a requirement.

     

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  5.  
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    PG, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    Re: interactivity

    Sadly, once again, a word such as interactivity - right up there with immersion, bandwith, 3-D, and others - now has the burden of abuse dished out by half-baked media pundits and terrible marketing wonks. So, yes, I agree that it is a feature, but woe to the person who must try to cut to the "interactive" quick in explaining or promoting a feature that has true interactive merit.

    For starters, is interactivity what one performs physically or manually? Or is visual cortex & brain activity process that stimulates a an albeit latent response, but one that eventually manifests itself in some reactionary process by an individual more or less interactive that, say, net browsing of online gaming?

    I dunno' ... I can be truly immersed in an environment and can find some interactive I am engaged with and never lift a finger. That's just my take.

     

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  6.  
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    Shohat, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 2:02pm

    STOP IT

    Seriosly , stop posting the same stuff over and over and over again . With all due respect , there are commercial enterprises that do need DRM , and those that don't .

    And Internet is also a broadcast medium , specially radio . I live in Israel and I listen alot to www.202.fm and it's channels .

    You are as blind as the industry you hate . They say DRM everything , you say DRM nothing , and you are both wrong .

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 2:10pm

    Re: STOP IT

    Seriosly , stop posting the same stuff over and over and over again . With all due respect , there are commercial enterprises that do need DRM , and those that don't .
    And Internet is also a broadcast medium , specially radio . I live in Israel and I listen alot to www.202.fm and it's channels .
    You are as blind as the industry you hate . They say DRM everything , you say DRM nothing , and you are both wrong .


    Hear hear!

     

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  8.  
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    Moogle, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 2:29pm

    Re: STOP IT

    Really? I didn't get the memo. What content NEEDS drm?

    I'm not intrinsically opposed to the idea, I'm just not aware of any case where DRM is needed to make a business model work. It sure as hell doesn't stop piracy. The only use I can see is, as everyone's said before, charging multiple times for content that people already own. That's a scam, not a business model.

    In an open market, it's a system that would flounder and die next to a DRMless version. But due specifically to the actions and lobbying of the companies that want DRM, there's not much of an open market. Things may change, but we'd like that to happen BEFORE they manage to force DRM into every damned consumer device, locking out, again, everyone who would want to produce content outside of their monopoly.

    Also, the internet isn't broadcast, but it can pretend to be. You went to the site and requsted those streams. They are not sent to your computer day and night, regardless of the state of your computer.

    I think the issue is not so much interactive/broadcast, but that the cost to deliver on the internet is miniscule, whereas traditional media has been expensive and the domain of only large players. They now have to compete with ever joe with a video camera, which was unthinkable on TV, radio, DVDs and CDs. Again, a big reason why they seem to want DRM in every consumer media device.

    Fortunately afaik most of what the hardware players are putting in is of the no-copying-flagged-content flavor, and not no-playing-anything-unflagged. I hope so anyway.

     

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    Mike (profile), Apr 7th, 2006 @ 2:45pm

    Re: STOP IT

    Seriosly , stop posting the same stuff over and over and over again . With all due respect , there are commercial enterprises that do need DRM , and those that don't

    Which ones need it?


    You are as blind as the industry you hate . They say DRM everything , you say DRM nothing , and you are both wrong .


    I'm afraid perhaps I haven't done a good enough job explaining myself. We really don't try to post "the same stuff over and over again." Each post is somewhat different, and designed to highlight an aspect of what we're saying -- though, clearly, in your case, we've failed to get the point across.

    The point isn't that nothing should be DRM, but that DRM is a market-shrinking offering. If they *want* to do DRM they sure as hell can. No one is taking that away from them. Our point is that it's HURTING themselves in the long run, by providing a worse product at a higher expense.

    We're not saying DRM shouldn't be allowed, just that it's a strategically stupid position to take -- and forcing others to live in that world is a strategically backwards plan.

    Note the difference? We're not trying to force anyone to do anything. Just noting that they're making decisions that effectively do themselves harm.

    I don't "hate" the industry as you claim. If anything, it's exactly the opposite. I WANT them to succeed and it pains me that they seem to be doing everything to damage their own ability to succeed.

     

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    Shohat, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 3:13pm

    Industries that need DRM

    If there would be a unified format for Ringtones , my mobile player , and the PC , with an ONLINE BACKUP (so no need for that "i want 5 backup CDs" excuse) , DRM is justified .
    I would say that a backup service and compatibility over 3 platforms are worth it . I personally hate the industry for selling the same music in different formats for different devices , with different restrictions .

    If the Ebook thing ever gets off the ground (and I dont think it will , because books>ebooks) , DRM is needed .

    And I will just speak frankly - (without inciminating myself) - I know plenty of people that DL over 10 GB a week of music and movies . The writeable DVDs are cheap and the connection is even cheaper .
    The music quality is enough to satisfy any audiophile , and if someone goes and buys music , its only because he chooses to give away his money as a symbolic act of respect , because he allready downloaded the music .

    I am not saying that the Music and Movies industry are losing money over the downloads(cause its BS) , I am saying that people are enjoying products that they didn't pay for .
    When I go to a concert , I pay money even
    though the band didn't "produce more sound" for me , and if I wouldn't come they would have produced the same amount , but that doesnt mean I shouldn't pay for it . And they are just make sure that you pay for your seat .
    They are just doing it backwards .

     

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    Mike (profile), Apr 7th, 2006 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Industries that need DRM

    Online backup

    There's a ton of successful online backup offerings right now. As far as I know, none of them use DRM right now. So why do they need to?

    eBooks

    Heh. Half the reason eBooks have never taken off is because of the DRM they've used. Why do they need DRM?

    People downloading movies etc...

    As we've discussed "over and over and over again" (according to you), there is no requirement whatsoever for those businesses to use DRM. It's a choice -- based on setting up artificial scarcity, rather than learning how to embrace the content as a promotional good for selling something else. There are plenty of ways to make money without DRM in these industries. Just because some people make copies doesn't mean the industry needs DRM, just that they need new business models.

     

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  12.  
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    elaine, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 2:07am

    This is not a new concept. Almost all firms want to have an increase in their financial profit hence they want users to pay them for accessing their site. I agree with what you are saying that in reality, it is the other way around. If firms would not realize that, they would probably lose more than what they gain.

     

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