How Does Offering Free Content Insult Those Who Pay?

from the help-me-out-here dept

It's interesting to see the logical pretzels that certain business execs will twist themselves into to defend a poor business model against one that customers enjoy much more. Take for example, the claim from cable firm Rainbow Media's CEO, Josh Sapan, that free video online somehow "insults" people who pay for cable:
"I do think it's important to be technologically progressive and responsive to what consumers want. But that's a different thing, in my mind, from creating bad habits," Sapan said in an interview. "To offer these shows for free ... It's almost insulting to the consumer who's paying money for it, because it says to that consumer, 'What are you doing?'"
Of course you could make the identical argument for any obsolete product. The telephone apparently "insulted" telegraphy purchasers. The airplane apparently "insulted" those who traveled by boat across the ocean. The printing press? Man, did that ever insult those monks who wrote out bibles by hand.

Honestly, it's yet another sign of the entitlement culture, where some seem to assume they're entitled to keep their business model, and it's somehow "insulting" to show their customers that there are better/cheaper/more efficient ways to get what they need.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 6:42pm

    i guess the radio insults cd and digital music sales, and tap water insults evian, fiji, etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 7:38pm

    Free content (duplication of what is paid for) is very annoying for consumers. The concept is simple:

    Have you ever gone shopping for something you really wanted, looked all over, finally buy it for $259.99, and as you are walking down the street you see it on sale for $199.99? Don't you feel stupid? Or perhaps you feel you got ripped off? So instead of showing off your new whatever to your friends and bragging about the great deal, you have already been deflated.

    Ever ask the person next to you on the plane who much they paid for their flight? Ever feel like a fool when you realize they paid half what you paid?

    "Honestly, it's yet another sign of the entitlement culture, where some seem to assume they're entitled to keep their business model, and it's somehow "insulting" to show their customers that there are better/cheaper/more efficient ways to get what they need."

    Actually not: It's another sign of the give it to me free culture that has developed online, where everyone things they can get everything for nothing. As it spreads, it kills business models and removes the money required to produce new content in the future.

    Teach everyone not to pay - then try to find a way to pay for it.

     

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    Ryan, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    Cost of Cable

    The part nobody mentions is that the majority of people get their internet from a cable company (Comcast, Charter, Verizon FiOS, etc.). What do you think will happen when internet bandwidth skyrockets and everyone cancels their cable subscriptions? Also, why would ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and so on offer content for free online if they can't sell commercial time during television broadcasts? First of all, internet subscriptions will cost much more than they currently do. Second, the broadcasters will be forced to charge for their internet content or be forced to sell commercial space during internet broadcasts. So in the long run everyone would loose, if this way of thinking actually takes off.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    you ask the person next to you on the airplane how much they spent on their ticket? 3 reasons not to do this

    1. they could lie
    2. its impolite.
    3. it won't change how much you already paid for your ticket.

    Are you the same asshole who asks how much I spent on my car or how much my mortgage is?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:26pm

    I agree in principle with Josh Sapan. Free, all-you-can eat, and dirt cheap are not always positive changes in society.

     

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    tracker1 (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    Re:

    Yeah, every feew years when I upgrade my computer, I realize 6 months later, I could have paid 25% less.. you have no real point. maybe cable companies should offer price matching like stores do, which nukes your first argument.

     

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    milrtime83@ (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Cost of Cable

    "Also, why would ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and so on offer content for free online if they can't sell commercial time during television broadcasts?"

    Who says they can't sell commercial time?
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=atKGiQOMco.Y

     

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    White Gryphon, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 8:58pm

    Re:

    Ever ask the person next to you on the plane who much they paid for their flight? Ever feel like a fool when you realize they paid half what you paid?
    So, you're saying that instead of me getting a good price, and making you "feel like a fool" because you can't manage to do the same, we should all pay the higher price? If so, you sir, are a fool.

    There is no law that states that everyone must get the the same deal for an item. It's called competition.

    If someone can devise a way to produce or sell something cheaper, they can and will. And they will usually make the sale. If they can give something away for free, but can "sell" something else that the consumer finds value in, that's a smart business model. Most people are not out to get "everything for free" and are willing to pay for items that have a value to them.

     

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    Anonymous Asshat, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:01pm

    @ a bunch of ingorance

    ... you do realize that the person was really talking about what WOULD happen is they wouldn't be able to sell comercial time, because IF all these shows were available free, noone would buy cable/sat and if there is no demographic to sell to, people that buy commercial time WON'T...

    I want everything in life to be free... can someone hook me up with a free car? Maybe a free house... i don't want to work for what i have, because being lazy is the american dream.

    WTF, this just goes to show that people are so self righteous that they want to exploit the work of others and not compensate everyone involved. Do i think cable cost alot... sure... do i think everything cose alot, yes...
    for 150 a month i can have most channels available, internet and phone, or I can take my family out to the movies 3 nights in 1 month.... well if i took them to the movies 3 nights and didn't pay for cable, then what would do with them the rest of time.
    Ever think about why in this ecomoy, cable and satelite are thriving industiest while most other "luxury" industries are hurting?
    Maybe, just maybe having 20meg internet service, 150 channels, ondemand, phone service ...ect really is not that bad of a vaule...
    I could be wrong, but sure is worth my dollar... well 150 of them.

     

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    stat_insig (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:19pm

    Just a note

    I agree with your basic premise of opposing the other guys view. But the the comparisons you give are absolutely rubbish!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:26pm

    I'd like very much for you to show me where exactly the law is that entitles you not to be insulted or offended or upset by the action of others.

    If I get a better price than you on a gadget or plane ticket, perhaps it's just because you are too stupid or lazy to do the proper research.
    Sorry buckaroo that's just your own fault.

    Just because YOU can't (or wont bother to) find a business model that you think will work dosen't mean that others cannot or that they should not try.

    For instance,
    Hulu is not free. You watch ADs with your internet TV just like on regular TV and guess what, they actually cost MORE per eyeball than the broadcast commercials. AND Hulu can PROVE the number of viewers.
    It seems to be working for them.

    Perhaps you should just be smarter, if not perhaps your company SHOULD be extinct and allow it's successor the room it needs to grow in what USED to be your market.

     

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    Anonymous Asshat, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:39pm

    @ mike

    and i'm not one of these Mike bashers that seem to hate you sooo much, yet they keep reading and commenting on your blog..... >.> ... i digress

    Your comparisons in these cases are a little unfair
    Someone that travels by boat would not be an ideot, maybe it's their preference or are scared to fly
    Monks may not like modern technology and take solace from writing by hand
    jokes aside the comparison is a little far stretched.
    Now if there was an airline that gave away free flights for the same routes as an airline that charged, than the comparison would be more accurate.
    People watching stuff on the internet for free is not due to technological advancements, and more about efficient distribution with a for free business plan.
    i'm going to guess those people @ hulu still get paid but not by the consumers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    I pay 10 dollars for food. Some people pay 5 dollars for food. I feel insulted.

    What? Your shirt cost you half than mine did? INSULTED!

    Oh, someone gave you a free ticket to a movie? Mine costed money! INSULTED!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 10:25pm

    If airlines offer early bird fares it's not unfair, because it's a way of rewarding customers who commit their money earlier than others. But if an airline says all Techdirt readers fly at half price all the time, surely the rest of the world would feel cheated.

    Companies beaming their content online for free similarly discriminate against their paying customers: in fact it would start eating into their business as more and more people would decide watching it for free online makes more sense.

     

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    Same AC as before, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 10:28pm

    If a company can offer content for free online, why should they be charging those who want to watch it through TV? Surely they can make their channel free to air and make money through advertising.

     

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    Michael Long, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 10:29pm

    Entitlement

    "Honestly, it's yet another sign of the entitlement culture, where some seem to assume they're entitled to keep their business model..."

    As opposed to the "entitlement culture" that seems to think they're automatically entitled to every book, song, movie, program, and game ever produced, simply because they want it and it's "free" for the taking?

    That entitlement culture?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 11:16pm

    Re: @ mike

    You completely missed the point. The comparisons were to illustrate progress. Showing these programs on the internet is progress, thought it upsets cable providers. Just like airplanes were progress over boats, printing presses over monks, etcetera.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Entitlement

    Do you honestly know anyone like that? I don't. I don't think such a person actually exists.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 11:46pm

    Learning to wait until something drops in price

    A couple of thoughts:

    I. When people know they can get something cheaper or for free, they tend to wait, unless they really need it right away. A deflationary cycle can result.

    I try to avoid paying full price for anything. That's one reason I never buy new technology. I wait until I needed it yesterday. It's always better and cheaper the longer I wait. I'm much more interested in getting the best price than in having something first.

    I also buy my cars used and check out consignment shops for clothes.

    2. I think the idea of charging your best customers (the ones likely to buy it first) the most money, and then offering it cheaper to everyone else can piss off your best customers. Unless you offer something of value to give them a reason to pay more, then I don't think it's such a good idea in terms of relationship marketing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 11:48pm

    Of course you could make the identical argument for any obsolete product. The telephone apparently "insulted" telegraphy purchasers. The airplane apparently "insulted" those who traveled by boat across the ocean. The printing press? Man, did that ever insult those monks who wrote out bibles by hand.

    That doesn't seem to be the point at all. What he seems to be saying is that if you want people to keep paying for cable, a really, really bad way to do that is by giving the same or very similar content away for free via a different and more-or-less equally convenient channel. By doing so, you create a situation where people who are currently paying for cable are going to feel like they're stupid and wasting money, and they're going to think about not paying you anymore.

    That doesn't seem overly controversial to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 3:11am

    those whom charge for services offered free elsewhere are the ones insulting us !

    Get a GRIP!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 4:55am

    Re:

    Why not just take the $259 product back, and buy the $199 one. Then you can show it off and feel good for getting a great deal; the next time you'll learn to do some comparison shopping before you buy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 5:09am

    Re:

    Have you ever gone shopping for something you really wanted, looked all over, finally buy it for $259.99, and as you are walking down the street you see it on sale for $199.99? Don't you feel stupid? Or perhaps you feel you got ripped off? So instead of showing off your new whatever to your friends and bragging about the great deal, you have already been deflated.


    Yes, you should feel stupid. If you had really looked all over you'd have found it for 199.99. How is that the fault of the cheaper retailer?


    Ever ask the person next to you on the plane who much they paid for their flight? Ever feel like a fool when you realize they paid half what you paid?


    No, because why would I care? I got the best deal I could find. Just because you seem to suck at finding deals, don't blame those who can, or those who offer them.


    Actually not: It's another sign of the give it to me free culture that has developed online, where everyone things they can get everything for nothing. As it spreads, it kills business models and removes the money required to produce new content in the future.


    Yawn, this is a tired and unproven argument which fools like yourself trot out when you can't think of anything to actually backup your position.

    A simple question for you - if free hurts content production so much, why does human content creation span the existence of humankind? Oh right, because free has no bearing on content production.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 5:19am

    Re:

    No, and I do not have problems like yourself.

    Hindsight is always 20/20 and kicking yourself is stupid and pointless.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 5:25am

    I have a free kick in the arse if anyone is interested, otherwise cost is $100

    Any takers?

     

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    MaiiTsoh, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:10am

    Unfortunately, I think your analogies are apples to oranges. The original statement is contrasting consumer X (the paying consumer) with consumer y (the freebie consumer). Your analogies are contrasting new technology with the creators of old technology. These only seem to make your point at first glance but don't stand up to closer scrutiny.

    However, I did appreciate the irony in the "entitlement culture" ending.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:14am

    Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Mike, wow. Just wow. Firstly, it's good to see someone who likes to overuse and misuse the term "insult" just like you do. Second, your comment that "it's yet another sign of the entitlement culture, where some seem to assume they're entitled to keep their business model" is just amazing. How dare YOU insist that any legally operating business change its business model?!? That a business chooses to approach the market in a give way is their decision. It's not an entitlement, it s a go-to-market strategy (or what TechDirt seems to call a "business model"). Within the bounds of the law, business ARE entitled to approach their perceived market however they like, and at their own peril. As for the sense of entitlement, there is none moreso that the continued desire by many folks to just get at no cost those things that legally cost money. The over-philosophized theories here notwithstanding, there are a whole lotta freeloaders out there just gobbling up as much content as they can, knowing it is currently illegal to do so, and not bothering to loop back to make a legitimate purchase to compensate the content producer. You can cite studies, I'm sure, that some percentage of the Free Stuffers do pay/might pay/would pay...fine. But intuitively and based on practical experience and observation, we all know what's going on out there once the philosophical robes are shed. THIS is the dirty sense of entitlement. And it is just as bad and wrong-headed as the endless extension of copyright and IP protections ad infinitum. These stances are the ends of the pendulum swing...reality, fairness and equitability are in the middle.

     

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    White Gryphon, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    What he seems to be saying is that if you want people to keep paying for cable, a really, really bad way to do that is by giving the same or very similar content away for free via a different and more-or-less equally convenient channel. (emphasis mine)

    Who are you to say that getting content down a coax cable that I can only watch on a TV set is as convenient as getting it anywhere I happen to be via the internet? I certainly don't think it is! Just because you find them equal, doesn't mean everyone does.

    I could get SD and HD broadcasts over-the-air for free. Or I could watch them via the internet. Which is the better way for content producers to make money? I think that it's the internet distribution. It costs less for distribution, the ads can be targeted to the show, and you know how many people are watching your show so you can get better deals from the advertisers.

    As people have pointed out above, there are valid business models out there that work for internet distribution, Hulu being a prime example.

     

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    brandon, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 7:14am

    FREE???? No such Thing!

    WHY DOES ANYONE PRETEND THAT FREE CONTENT IS A NEW BUSINESS MODEL FOR TV??!?!?! As I recall, in this country, the US our television model was originally providing free content over the airwaves, all you need is a receiver, the funds are provided by advertising. Thats opposed to the BBC's original model, that everyone who buys a receiver must pay a subscription, and there is little advertising.

    What we currently have is everyone paying double for services that were originally free to the consumers. Ad time has only increased, as have prices for cable service. If someone could explain to me why we are paying from both directions, it would be much appreciated.

     

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    Haywood (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 7:26am

    Somewhat disagree

    I know I am insulted that the government is proposing to help people behind on Mortgages they should never have taken to begin with. My house is paid off, & not without a lot of sacrifice. I don't have cable, drive used cars, seldom eat out, take in a movie once or twice a year, & Now I should have my taxes go to help someone who is irresponsible with their finances?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 8:13am

    Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Mike has never insisted that businesses must change their model. He has always insisted that the economic has changed, and that businesses forcing their model by denying and forcibly blocking everything else are just delaying the inevitable, while insuring that the end result is a failed business.

    Morality has nothing to do with economics. Period. You can argue that the "entitlement" attitude of consumers is ruining an industry, but that means absolutely jack for businesses. You can argue about the evils of an era all you want, but the fact remains that if people don't want to buy your product, your business will fail. The minute you start trying to use morality, entitlement, and god given rights to succeed your business is already going down the drain.

    The first priority of any business relying purely on a consumer base is to follow the money. If you own a grocery store, don't stock food no one buys and berate the customer for not wanting it. If your previous business model is going under, then for the love of god jump off the sinking ship instead of screaming at the people on life rafts to come back and start bailing the water.

     

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    Olz (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 8:14am

    How Does Offering Free Content Insult Those Who Pay?

    Ryan wrote

    " Also, why would ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and so on offer content for free online if they can't sell commercial time during television broadcasts?"

    ABC's "Ugly Betty" had a funny product placement ad for 7-UP in one of the episodes. It helped them make a profit and wasn't likely to be skipped over. I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of that in the future. Which of course will take us back to the early days of radio and TV where the stars frequently pitched their sponsor's products without stepping out of character.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re: Cost of Cable

    When you pay for Cable TV, you pay for the convenience of having content lined up neatly under channel buttons, potentially with an onscreen guide to tell me when things are on.

    When you get that same content from the internet, you have to look for it and put more effort into watching it on the same screen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re:

    "Yes, you should feel stupid. If you had really looked all over you'd have found it for 199.99. How is that the fault of the cheaper retailer?"

    It isn't the fault of the cheaper retailer, nor is that the point. The point is that I as a consumer feel stupid for paying too much. If everyone is getting everything for free (even if they are breaking the law to do it), I will feel stupid to pay for stuff.

    "Yawn, this is a tired and unproven argument which fools like yourself trot out when you can't think of anything to actually backup your position."

    Actually, you are already seeing the effects in Hollywood. Fewer and fewer speculative movies, everything has to be a box office success, no little cult movies, because without immediate box office success, there is little chance that a movie is actually profitable on the backend (DVD sales) - because piracy is pretty much raping that business.

    Just like Mike often does, I will say this is a "trend". Some of you may not notice the trend yet, but it is there and getting worse.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    "Mike has never insisted that businesses must change their model. He has always insisted that the economic has changed, and that businesses forcing their model by denying and forcibly blocking everything else are just delaying the inevitable, while insuring that the end result is a failed business."

    The economics are only changing because there is a tolerance in society for widespread "infrginement" (aka theft of services). If infringement was called theft and treated as such, society might have a different opinion.

    Telling business to chance their model because people have learned how to steal better is sort of stupid, no?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "It isn't the fault of the cheaper retailer, nor is that the point. The point is that I as a consumer feel stupid for paying too much. If everyone is getting everything for free (even if they are breaking the law to do it), I will feel stupid to pay for stuff."

    ...so what? Continue to feel stupid then, just don't force everyone to pay $259.99.

    "Actually, you are already seeing the effects in Hollywood. Fewer and fewer speculative movies, everything has to be a box office success, no little cult movies, because without immediate box office success, there is little chance that a movie is actually profitable on the backend (DVD sales) - because piracy is pretty much raping that business.

    Just like Mike often does, I will say this is a "trend". Some of you may not notice the trend yet, but it is there and getting worse."

    Uh...

    Completely ignoring the booming independent film industry and foreign film industry...

    You're saying that free culture makes people want the highest possible profits?

    By the way, where are your statistics for piracy "raping the backend"? Last I heard, sales have continued to increase year by year.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Not in the slightest.

    As I said, morality and ethics has no relevance to supply and demand. There is a demand for free content. You're advocating killing off that demand. That's what I consider stupid.

    Businesses like Hulu are capitalizing on that market rather than stamping it out, and they're making money.

    Once again, in a consumer based industry, the worst thing you could possibly do is try to tell the consumer what they want by denying them what they're asking for.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Telling business to chance their model because people have learned how to steal better is sort of stupid, no?

    You're new here, aren't you?

     

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    MaiiTsoh, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Not to be an ass, but I would seriously like an answer to this question: is there a point where you must tell the consumer "no"?

    For starters, there are the clearly illegal/immoral requests that many people would make if they could (and do in some back alleys). Beyond that, though, there are lots of things I want as a consumer but just can't have (legally). Like: I would like to be able to watch any movie ever made, at any time, completely free. I don't really think I deserve that, though, because I know what goes into making a movie and someone has to pick up the bill. Since I'm getting enjoyment from the movie, I don't mind chipping in a bit.

    So, seriously, where do you draw the line? When can you call entitlement "entitlement" and mean it?

    Louis C. K. gave us a good indication of when "entitlement" starts in his interview with Conan O'Brien (start around 3:20): http://blip.tv/file/1778457/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Then, in keeping with your example, the solution is to stop the store down the street from selling it at the $199.99 price point so that the customer will not feel stupid. This is silly. Not one of your examples actually deals with free content; they rather back up the reasoning behind online video: who would not recommend the cheaper store to a friend looking to make the same purchase you did? Which friend, upon this recommendation, would not choose the cheaper store? The smart business strikes where the iron is hot-and no content is hotter (at the moment) than online multimedia.

    As a side note, I find it far more insulting to be treated as one of the faceless masses to be 'taught' about what I should consider goods to be worth. Price is arrived at by mutual consent based on each parties' evaluation of the goods in question(or should be), not legislation. What does this say about the worth of music recordings?

     

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    lulz, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    Go cry some more.

    PSN users insult Gold XBox live users because their internet is free vs shelling out $50, then.
    PSN is free because the game developers pay for it. The cost isn't passed onto the consumer ($50/yr for Gold membership), which is in the consumer's best interest. Yay!

    In a similar way, online TV like Hulu can be free for consumers because the ads are higher, which is in the best interest of the consumer. Yay!

    So you can continue to feel butthurt that you are paying too much; I, the smart consumer, won't.

     

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  42.  
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    bigpicture, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:11am

    Content

    More spin and confusion, what is it that cable companies provide? "Content" or the "services and infrastructure that brings that content into homes". Google is pretty clear about what they provide: CONTENT, everything else including any software, phones etc. that they develop is only peripherally important to supporting that.

    As far as cable company "content" I thought that the TV adds Pay Per View etc. covered that, or is this double dipping? Cable companies trying to collect from both ends? The cable company fee I thought paid for the bringing of the content to my home. The advertizments and Pay Per View paid the content provider? Maybe the cable companies are mixed up about what is their core business. Let the content providers provide the crap content, but the cable companies make the most choices of that crap available in my home with the very best, fastest, highest resolution, most reliable technology.

     

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  43.  
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    lulz, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re:

    *because the price of the ads are higher

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re:

    Funny thing is that people pay for the internet. So doesn't this show that people would rather get their entertainment elsewhere. Personally, I watch shows while on the internet and doing homework. Since I generally work nights while in school.

    The reason they offer the show online is for people that have missed the show on the television. They get money for the advertisements in the show as well. And you paid your internet provider for the capability to get to the website, same as people pay there cable provider the capability to see the show on the television.

    The only difference is that the ISP got the money and not the cable company(who gives you access to more channels but doesn't own the channels).

     

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  45.  
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    lulz, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    I would seriously like an answer to this question: is there a point where you must tell the consumer "no"?

    Seriously?
    No. Consumers want the lowest price. Period. Maybe a masochistic consumer wants to pay more than they know they can get something for, not me.

    Service/good providers want to charge the highest prices possible. If consumers say "screw that high price, I can find a better one (free)" then what can you do to stop them? Nothing, unless you advocate a dictatorship.

     

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  46.  
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    lulz, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:24am

    Re: FREE???? No such Thing!

    If someone could explain to me why we are paying from both directions, it would be much appreciated.

    Companies want money?

     

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  47.  
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    MaiiTsoh, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    You're only answering the most basic version of my question. Sure, consumers always want the lowest price. No one is arguing that. However, there is a price point below which things become unsustainable for any real length of time.

    My point is that, just because consumers want something, it doesn't mean they will or should get it. Everyone would like everything to always be free, but reality will not permit this. Competition is great, lower prices are great, but consumer "want" isn't the end-all of the equation.

    One example: I can lower you gas prices significantly by raping nature preserves for resources. Want does not equal necessity nor should it outweigh a balanced, larger approach.

     

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  48.  
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    The Buzz Saw (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    I like insulting people.

    So what? Am I to feel guilty for enlightening others on how they are wasting money on ancient technology?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    In a true capitalist market, "no" occurs naturally; it happens at the point where businesses can no longer sustain themselves. The consumer can demand lower prices all they want, but when such prices are impossible to maintain, then it simply won't happen (at least in the long term).

    In this case. The industry wants you to pay, the consumer wants it free. Who gets what they want? The one that the market allows. In this circumstance, the market is allowing free.

    As I said before, morals, ethics, and entitlement has no relevance in economics. Unfortunately, the problem is that the industry is forcing its own sense of entitlement onto the market through the legal system.

     

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  50.  
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    MaiiTsoh, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    First of all, of course ethics have relevance. In a purely theoretical sense, perhaps you're right. But morality is precisely the reason you can't legally buy child slaves.

    You say "the market is allowing free," but I'm not convinced that's the case. It costs nearly-nothing to reproduce a digital work, but that fact alone doesn't mean that the market is "allowing free" (and certainly not in any sustainable way), it only means that technology allows for nearly-free reproduction of digital works. Works which are, most of the time, very costly to produce in the first place.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    "But morality is precisely the reason you can't legally buy child slaves."

    Perhaps I should have worded that better. Morality has no relevance between a supplier and its consumers.

    The issue here is that the industry is using its own imposed ethics to deny the consumer.

    "You say "the market is allowing free," but I'm not convinced that's the case. It costs nearly-nothing to reproduce a digital work, but that fact alone doesn't mean that the market is "allowing free" (and certainly not in any sustainable way), it only means that technology allows for nearly-free reproduction of digital works. Works which are, most of the time, very costly to produce in the first place."

    The problem in this case isn't that the industry can't support free, but that you're trying to sell a product that is easily reproducible and distributable.

     

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  52.  
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    MaiiTsoh, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    "The problem in this case isn't that the industry can't support free, but that you're trying to sell a product that is easily reproducible and distributable."

    But the product is very difficult and costly to create in the first place (if it's any good) ...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    It's actually something I noticed about the way Mike looks at things:

    Marginal costs for a digital copy are zero, so it is "infinite" and "free".

    But often marginal costs aren't the big costs of producing something. The unit cost of a movie, example, isn't in the reproduction or distribution, it's in the making. So if you narrowly look at ONLY marginal costs, there are market mechanisms in place to make it free. But it isn't a practical thing.

    It's the difference between a classroom exercise (or an amusing graduate thesis) and the real world.

     

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  54.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    How dare YOU insist that any legally operating business change its business model?!?

    Er... I never have insisted that anyone must change their business model. I've simply pointed out that if they don't change when the market has changed, they're likely to go out of business. Are you disagreeing with that?

    However, I don't see how it's controversial to suggest that companies unwilling to change their business model may find difficulty staying in business. I'm not sure why this upsets you.

    That a business chooses to approach the market in a give way is their decision. It's not an entitlement, it s a go-to-market strategy (or what TechDirt seems to call a "business model").

    I have never said otherwise. What I said was that their unwillingness to change their business model in the face of competition -- AND THEN to insist that THE MARKET NOT CHANGE either through public pressure or through legal changes is very much entitlement. He's saying that others should not offer a better product because it hurts his business model. That's entitlement. He feels entitled that his business model should still work even as the amrket has changed.

    As for the sense of entitlement, there is none moreso that the continued desire by many folks to just get at no cost those things that legally cost money. The over-philosophized theories here notwithstanding, there are a whole lotta freeloaders out there just gobbling up as much content as they can, knowing it is currently illegal to do so, and not bothering to loop back to make a legitimate purchase to compensate the content producer.

    You are confusing two points. This is unfortunately common among folks who get worked up about what I say.

    It would help for you to not confuse the difference between creators coming up with good business models and users sharing content for free.

    When you confuse them it suggests to me that you have not bothered to take the time to understand what we are actually debating.

    THIS is the dirty sense of entitlement.

    Is it? If you can embrace that sense of entitlement and, as a content creator/producer use it to make more money, then who the hell cares?

    I still cannot figure out how you can make a moral argument that a scenario where everyone is worse off is somehow a better outcome than one where everyone is better off.

     

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  55.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Entitlement

    As opposed to the "entitlement culture" that seems to think they're automatically entitled to every book, song, movie, program, and game ever produced, simply because they want it and it's "free" for the taking?

    A culture we've never defended. So I'm not quite sure what point you think you're making, other than you're so blinded by one thing that's happening in the market, you refuse to open your mind to how to take advantage of it.

    Unfortunate, but, please, don't take it out on us.

     

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  56.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    The economics are only changing because there is a tolerance in society for widespread "infrginement" (aka theft of services). If infringement was called theft and treated as such, society might have a different opinion.

    Economics have nothing to do with "tolerance." Economics is separate from morals.

     

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  57.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Not to be an ass, but I would seriously like an answer to this question: is there a point where you must tell the consumer "no"?

    Sure. You can. The problem is that if ANYONE else can figure out how to answer that question "yes" then you who say "no" will quickly find yourself out of business.

    That's the point we keep trying to make.

     

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  58.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    But often marginal costs aren't the big costs of producing something. The unit cost of a movie, example, isn't in the reproduction or distribution, it's in the making. So if you narrowly look at ONLY marginal costs, there are market mechanisms in place to make it free. But it isn't a practical thing.

    It's the difference between a classroom exercise (or an amusing graduate thesis) and the real world.


    Heh. Try reading an econ textbook. It takes this into account. Insisting it does not only shows you've never taken (or at least passed) an econ course.

    You do need to account for the high fixed costs, but that doesn't mean you confuse them with the marginal costs. You account for each differently. Marginal costs determine price in a competitive market. Fixed costs help determine the ROI needed to make the project worth doing. But these are different issues.

     

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  59.  
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    Mark David Johansen, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    New Tech vs. Old

    When I was a teen I worked in a print shop. I had taken printing classes in high school and figured I'd be running a small offset press, but no - the first job and for quite some time was learning how to get fast with a composing stick setting hot type. I'd done some in school and knew the California Job Case and basicly how to set type, but this was all day setting graphs in big old chases with quoins hand leading and kerning with brass. The owner of the shop was convinced that once people got tired of trying to read blurry, washed out pages of text they'd dump the offset presses and be back to relief platen presses. Last I heard he was still doing business with wedding invites and specialty embossing, die cutting, etc. and still yells at people who want a quick offset business card 35 years later.

     

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  60.  
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    Eric Migiano, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Cost of Cable

    Umm...it just so happens that ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS are free...ever hear of over the air antenna?

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    But once again, that has nothing to do with the market. The price of the product is being driven down to nothing because it can be provided at nothing.

    Ignoring anything to do with ethics for a moment, and look at the purely legal side of this:

    - Cable wants people to pay for content.
    - Hulu gives it away for free.

    Both are legal. When one company gives away cheaper identical product and draws enough profit to maintain its service, the inevitable result is that the more expensive company will fail.

    This is exactly the same argument that applies to Music, Movies, Books, etc. What a company wants has no relevance whatsoever, because if another company can provide the same product at a lower price and still stay in business, that's where the market will go.

    Once again, I'm not arguing what should happen, or what the consumer deserves. Just that competition will push prices as low as possible.

    If you read some of the articles here, you'll hopefully realize that giving away free content is not the same as having no revenue sources. Hulu should be proof of that. There are also plenty of means to make profit without relying on advertising as well.

     

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  62.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Where is anyone getting the idea that Hulu is profitable and self-sustaining? I'd love to see definitive links that contain anything other than blogger guesses. (Here's a quick synopsis and analysis of those blogger guesses that appeared vocally late last year: http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/11/hulu-profitable-please ) I'm vaguely in the media world and have heard of little but struggle and consternation among those involved with Hulu with regard to how to monetize. And even if Hulu pulls a real or theoretical gross margin, one calculation not done is how much viewership (and, therefore, ad revenue) it diverts from the broadcast networks to begin with.

    To be clear, I think Hulu has a lot of promise, but the state of digital advertising is largely abysmal and makes it difficult to sustain businesses which are expensive to operate, at least as a sole means of support. I hope they can figure it out, as the convenience and quality (not to mention legality) is great!

     

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  63.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement

    I agree that you typically don't defend, but you spend an immense amount of time attempting to justify and describe these activities as basically inevitable and worthy of nothing less than full embrace.

    And given that the vast majority of those grabbing free content daily are doing so just for the free content, not as a political statement, it cannot be ignored. To re-use your words, you are "so blinded" by the intellectual exercise of your over-philosophized stances that you cannot see that most of the infringers (thieves, pirates, civil disobedients, whatever) just want free stuff and could give two hoots about IP reform or your micro-niche examples of go-to-market strategies which you insist on calling "business models." You're trying to build a foundation under a very shaky house, hoping the inspectors don't catch you and architects don't laugh.

     

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  64.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    True, except, I guess, when you constantly use economics to try to explain and justify immoral acts. Interesting conundrum.

     

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  65.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Mike, it's very odd that you often choose to personalize your posts by using terms just as "upset" and "worked up." You interpret way too much. This is just fun and interesting, not visceral and surely not personal. But I think your choice of words - as consistent as it is - is revealing. Anywho....

    "I don't see how it's controversial to suggest that companies unwilling to change their business model may find difficulty staying in business."

    No, what you do is describe them as stupid, fascist, archaic, etc., etc. The fact is that most of the business you rail against are still eminently profitable, while the "models" you support are not, or not yet, or not by much. Do I see the market changing? Certainly. But do I (or you) have special powers to know where it is going better than anyone else? Surely not. You have your theories, some well-founded, some not so. Others have theirs, some well-founded, some not so. I enjoy absorbing and reacting to many of them. Welcome.

    In this post, YOU chose to use the intellectually loaded term "entitlement." That's your word. Entitlement has a whole lot of baggage as a political, economic and social term and it has clear moral and ethical entanglement.

    "...unwillingness to change their business model in the face of competition -- AND THEN to insist that THE MARKET NOT CHANGE either through public pressure or through legal changes is very much entitlement."

    Actually, likely not. Many of the businesses you rail against are not nearly as static as you assume (or accuse). In fact, especially in the media and publishing spaces, many companies (I am directly familiar with several large ones) are DESPERATELY working on new approaches to their markets and establishing alternative relationships with consumers. They are extremely interested in exploring new paths for revenue. But the fact is that most of them are profitable NOW, so they can't screw the pooch. The have to make sure they move from one solid footing to another. This is where the oft-ignored concept of scale kicks in: what 10 guys in a garage can tolerate in terms of risk, change rate and uncertainty is very, very different than a Fortune 1000 company.

    Your view of these companies as static dinosaurs leads you to view them as (WARNING: loaded term coming!) acting entitled. In fact, protection of their existing markets and approaches is part of an extremely predictable and largely reasonable protectionism which most businesses engage in when under stress. They defend their old markets and methods until new ones are solidified. Businesses rarely evolve without a fight or overnight. While there are exceptions, why would a 20 or 50 or 100 year old business drive itself into the ground over defending a business "model" that doesn't work....simple reality is that MOST won't, or won't knowingly. Why would they? Some will do fail to change (or fail to change quick enough) and die off, be acquired or lose their marketshare. But many will adapt, over time, after a struggle.

    Please note that I'm speaking of businesses, not an "industry." Industries themselves are rarely monolithic and no not have the fiduciary responsibilities of an individual business, nor other pressures. They are NOT equivalent.

    As for confusing terms, I have no confusion. I was giving another (better, I feel) entitlement example which involves consumers. You are relating one entitlement to the other...I am not (or at least did not intend that thread).

     

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  66.  
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    Kiba, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Sunk costs are sunk cost....

     

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  67.  
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    CastorTroy - Lib, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    You dont get how it works at all.
    1) you can get free TV every day, its call Airwaves, and that neat little thing sticking off the roof of your house brings that in... and by God its free, yet each company that sent you the signal made money, or folded... all paid for by adds
    2) Many TV stations (and a few today) still make there own shows, and guess what if you got them over the air IT WAS FREE - evil bastards giving stuff for free
    3) Cable comes along and offers a different way to receive TV with more channels and no antenna.. but you have to pay..
    4) Content People still make money on over the air, and cable all happy -
    5) Now the Evil Internet comes along and shows an new transmission medium, and we are back to free, you just pay to access the medium..

    Thats it end of story... Cable is not required to watch TV, Nor is the internet, they are Mediums for receiving the show... that the creators of said show have been giving away from the beginning of TIME... if you can figure out how to make a great show, and put it on a medium that allows your customer to see if how they prefer, while you give it away and make money... thats call figuring out the new market and a new business model..

     

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  68.  
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    toddlorensinclair, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    its free aleady over the air

    The fact is that lots of tv content is free over the air if you live within antenna distance. So I can't fathom why some people insist it should cost a boatload of money to get it from a longer distance over a wire instead!

    As for bandwidth costs .. According to their annual reports last year it cost Time Warner about $1.33 per month per customer to deliver broadband. (Yes ... that is quite a markup when they charge $45 a month)

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    "Almost"...

    I don't think that word means what you think it means. He did not say that it was insulting to paying customers, although you then continue to excoriate him for doing so. The word "almost" changes the meaning 180 degrees, from a hit to a miss.

    Either you don't recognize that you really need to criticize what a person actually says, and not something else entirely, or your reading comprehension is so poor that you can't see the difference. Either way, I'm thinking that you're not quite qualified to make meaningful criticisms.

     

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  70.  
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    lordmorgul, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    Or you could just not be an idiot and pay what you feel something is WORTH rather than what you feel is a good deal so you can brag to your friends.

    I recently bought a truck... saw an ad for the SAME TRUCK (not identical model, the actual same truck) for $1k less the next day. Was I upset? No... I got the deal I wanted and I paid it; I then took home a product I felt was WORTH THE PRICE. I even told my buddies about the thousand I could have saved but was still happy with what I got.

    If you pay more for a product or service than someone else it means only one thing -- you are willing to pay more. Well, that is unless you're an idiot who buys things that are not WORTH what you're paying for them.

     

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  71.  
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    lordmorgul, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Re: @ a bunch of ingorance

    Self-righteous, exploitation, lazy, don't want to work? Just because someone wants a cheaper or free service? Are you nuts?

    Content providers DO NOT HAVE TO PROVIDE FREE CONTENT. It is their choice. If they do, they could capitalize on the business model. If they do not, they won't.

    Neither choice will change the fact that their current service may no longer be WORTH the same price it used to be. The VALUE of a service will fall when other competing services exist.

    Someone will provide content on a free business model, and those who do not will suffer BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD AT BUSINESS. Period.

    This has nothing to do with self-righteous exploitation and degrading work ethic in America. It has to do with simple economics... you know, VALUE versus PRICE? Both are relative.

     

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  72.  
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    lordmorgul, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    Lots of companies offer discounts and regular deals to certain groups the company wants to support. My own company brokers deals with local restaurants for lunch deals for the employees... should someone feel cheated because my lunch was 15% cheaper? No... they shouldn't. If they think the lunch is worth the price they have to pay they should eat it, and if not they should not eat it. Feeling cheated because you pay something different than the customer before you is not logical.

     

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  73.  
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    lordmorgul, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    "However, there is a price point below which things become unsustainable for any real length of time."

    This is the point you stop selling this product and find a new business sector to work in. There is no other cure possible for what ails you.

    You cannot force a customer to pay what will sustain your business costs... you can offer the product or service at a price, and the customer will determine if the VALUE is higher than the PRICE. They will buy, or they won't buy.

    In either case, it has nothing to do with whether your business is recovering its costs. The choice the customer makes is based on VALUE, not your survival, and this will never change (and has never been any different!).

     

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    lordmorgul, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Are you new here? Mike has never used economics to 'explain and justify' an immoral act. Not once.

    You clearly do not know what 'justify' means, or you haven't been reading long and you assume you know what is going on here.

     

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  75.  
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    lordmorgul, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:13am

    Re: How Does Offering Free Content Insult Those Who Pay?

    This trend is growing significantly already, and alot of people are not even realizing it.

    Most new video games today already include product placements if you look closely while playing. The effect is subliminal appreciation for the product because it is seen to be involved with the enjoyment of playing the game.

     

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  76.  
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    Daniel Morritt, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    Gaming Industry

    To be honest, I think people should look at the gaming industry, in particular MMO's and FPS's since they have a LOT of one-off paid for services, subscription based services, and heaps of "free" ones.

    To say that a game like Rappelz is insulting to Warhammer Online, or Runscape is in any way detrimental to Call of Duty is just ridicuous, for one company they are competing in one market (which might be free services with paid for "addons") and another is in competition with another (for example subscription based), there are no shortage of these games, while the gameplay may be roughly the same the markets are rather different the sheer volume of these means the consumers have a great choice to choose from, and the competition between them helps drive the market forward as the articles here have pointed out over and over again.

     

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  77.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Entitlement

    And given that the vast majority of those grabbing free content daily are doing so just for the free content, not as a political statement, it cannot be ignored. To re-use your words, you are "so blinded" by the intellectual exercise of your over-philosophized stances that you cannot see that most of the infringers (thieves, pirates, civil disobedients, whatever) just want free stuff and could give two hoots about IP reform or your micro-niche examples of go-to-market strategies which you insist on calling "business models." You're trying to build a foundation under a very shaky house, hoping the inspectors don't catch you and architects don't laugh.

    Oh no. I'm the first to admit that the vast majority of folks involved don't care in the slightest about the philosophical arguments or the business models.

    I just don't think it matters. It's what's happening in the market. So why NOT embrace it if you can be better off for it?

     

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  78.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    True, except, I guess, when you constantly use economics to try to explain and justify immoral acts. Interesting conundrum.

    Again, please explain how something is immoral if everyone can be better off?

    As far as I'm concerned it's significantly MORE immoral to try to hold back economic growth and progress because you're too lazy to come up with a workable business model.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: "Almost"...

    Lol @ word games. Look, I know that the word 'almost' does have meaning, but in this context there is no reason for the statement to be made without the sentiment behind it. This is clearly a case of someone including alternative meaning in their statement for the purpose of plausible deniability... like for instance where you start your first sentence saying it is quite possible that Mike does know exactly what it means but you do not think he does... the word 'think' clearly leaves the option for you to be wrong.

    The statement Mike quotes is entirely pointless if it was not said to deliver the message without the 'almost'. Think about why anyone would say:
    "But that's a different thing, in my mind, from creating bad habits...It is not insulting to the consumer who is paying money for it".

    Ok, what bad habit is he addressing then? Face it, he thinks it is insulting to people who pay money for free products.

     

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  80.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 4th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    No, what you do is describe them as stupid, fascist, archaic, etc., etc.

    Please point out where I have used any of those words. Thanks.

    The fact is that most of the business you rail against are still eminently profitable, while the "models" you support are not, or not yet, or not by much. Do I see the market changing? Certainly. But do I (or you) have special powers to know where it is going better than anyone else? Surely not. You have your theories, some well-founded, some not so. Others have theirs, some well-founded, some not so. I enjoy absorbing and reacting to many of them. Welcome.

    Fair enough. But I'd argue you're confusing a mix of economic proof, datapoints *mixed* with *some* theory as "just theory." And then you're using that to brush off the proof and the data.

    In this post, YOU chose to use the intellectually loaded term "entitlement." That's your word. Entitlement has a whole lot of baggage as a political, economic and social term and it has clear moral and ethical entanglement.

    It's an incredibly accurate word. You have not yet shown why it is not, though it appears to have set off quite an emotional response in you. Try to dial down the emotion and think about it rationally.

    Actually, likely not. Many of the businesses you rail against are not nearly as static as you assume (or accuse). In fact, especially in the media and publishing spaces, many companies (I am directly familiar with several large ones) are DESPERATELY working on new approaches to their markets and establishing alternative relationships with consumers.

    I never said otherwise. I have said that many of them are going about it the wrong way. Some are doing a much better job than others, and I've been quick to celebrate those doing smart things as well. You seem to think I've said that they're all dinosaurs. That's not true. But when one is doing something that will harm it, I'm going to say it.

    They defend their old markets and methods until new ones are solidified. Businesses rarely evolve without a fight or overnight.

    Because we've seen over and over and over again that the ones who fight it rather than embracing the new opportunities head on are the ones that LOSE on the flip side. Must we go through a history lesson? The ones who say that "we'll wait until the business model is proven" discover that those who prove the business model are the ones who win.

    I'm trying to help and you think I'm trying to hurt. You're mistaken.

    As for confusing terms, I have no confusion. I was giving another (better, I feel) entitlement example which involves consumers. You are relating one entitlement to the other...I am not (or at least did not intend that thread).

    Consumer entitlement is a given in the marketplace. Business entitlement is a legal issue and an abuse of process. You can't do much about the first, but the second is pretty close to fraud and damaging for society. Get over it and focus on how to succeed given the first.

     

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  81.  
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    Kat, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    My thoughts...

    I'm one of those people who only pay for internet access and my Netflix account. Paying for television just isn't a value for me because I do not spend enough time watching TV shows, I also need to be able to watch programs on my own schedule and I do not feel like fitting another box to my already cluttered home theatre room to make that happen.

    Because of this I absolutely love Hulu and Netflix streaming. However I DO pay for those services.

    Even though Hulu seems 'free' I pay for the service by giving them my time to sit through ads or by waiting sometimes days or weeks after the show aired on cable to watch it.

    If people are sincerely bent out of shape over this it is likely their own buyer's remorse. Honestly the whole thing sounds so childish to me, if people can't handle paying for content without having a fit because I'm getting it 'free', perhaps they should cancel their subscriptions and try it themselves.

    Also lets also mention that MOST TV sets are not capable of Netflix (which requires a subscription anyways) and unless you have a PC connected to your home theater you will not be watching Hulu on it, especially now that they blocked the site from PS3s. So again, more tradeoffs and reasons one might pay for the convenience of a paid TV service.

    I'm not even getting into over the air, now that it's digital the reception is wonderful...

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Insults

    So I'm insulting chain bookstore customers when I buy a used book instead of a new one or when I go to the library. Good.

    Free market capitalism, it' GGGG-reat. Until it doesn't work in your favor. I hope you are insulted.

     

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  83.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    I don't need Hulu in order to realize that Cable Companies are ripping me off and trying to limit my options. I knew that before Hulu. All something like Hulu does is to capitalize on pent up consumer discontent.

    TV with commercials is something I should be able to get
    myself without the middleman.

     

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  84.  
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    RM, Jul 4th, 2009 @ 6:06pm

    Jerks!

    I heard the people who watch free video online also called people who pay for cable "jerks." It's true I heard! You cable people don't want to be known as "jerks" do you?. Do something about it, stop free internet video!

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    "Please point out where I have used any of those words. Thanks."

    Here are two quick ones, there are surely more, but I am not going to take the time to troll through your postings:

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20090513/0132364860.shtml
    http://techdirt.com/articles/20 090424/0348184633.shtml

    "But I'd argue you're confusing a mix of economic proof, datapoints *mixed* with *some* theory as "just theory." And then you're using that to brush off the proof and the data."

    Possibly, but your "proof" and your datapoints are often soooo niche, limited to a specific content producer with a specific product, that it is simply untenable to extrapolate that to businesses as a whole within that industry, much less beyond it. If I brush off anything it's as a result of this rather than not understanding the evidence provided. As I've said many times before, the issue of scale is too often ignored when it is really, really meaningful.

    "It's an incredibly accurate word. You have not yet shown why it is not, though it appears to have set off quite an emotional response in you. Try to dial down the emotion and think about it rationally."

    Oh Mike. This is both funny and sad. It's funny because you very specifically and surgically failed to address my specific comment about words you used when responding to my prior post ("upset" and "worked-up") which better describe your response than my post. It's sad because this is an obvious literary device intended to belittle the point of one debater. The truth is that it really points to your emotionality and your frustration with either 1) your weak points or 2) your audience, both of which are troublesome for you, not me. For someone who likes to give the appearance of a dispassionate intellectual, you dive into these emotional assumptions and reactions regularly. Seriously, check yourself, Mike.

    "I never said otherwise. I have said that many of them are going about it the wrong way. Some are doing a much better job than others, and I've been quick to celebrate those doing smart things as well. You seem to think I've said that they're all dinosaurs. That's not true. But when one is doing something that will harm it, I'm going to say it."

    Okay. You may intend things that way, but your writing comes off differently at least to me. Most of what you rail against is big business and whole industries (which you conveniently homogenize). Most of what you celebrate is niche plays (you call them "business models") by minor actors. I guess I can recall you calling out a big business once or twice for something positive on the IP front, but it's rare.

    "Because we've seen over and over and over again that the ones who fight it rather than embracing the new opportunities head on are the ones that LOSE on the flip side. Must we go through a history lesson? The ones who say that "we'll wait until the business model is proven" discover that those who prove the business model are the ones who win."

    I agree that some of those business that wait will be irreparably harmed. But many will NOT. Many will be just fine waiting a beat, letting others take the first leap and then using their scale, content, distribution channels, whatever to come on strong, adopt the alternative and do just fine. THIS has been shown time and time again, as well. Business can be about being first to market, but it's more often about being best to market with a sustainable model (by which I mean an actual comprehensive business model, not what is thrown around here). Your writing seems not to recognize this. First and quickest seems to trump everything in your business world. That is sometimes true. But not nearly always.

    "Consumer entitlement is a given in the marketplace. Business entitlement is a legal issue and an abuse of process. You can't do much about the first, but the second is pretty close to fraud and damaging for society. Get over it and focus on how to succeed given the first."

    Consumer entitlement up to the point of illegality, yes. The problem is that the legal market for content is now being driven by illegal activity. That's a huge complication that makes the economics more difficult to understand and predict. Legitimate business have to work within the law. At least by your apparent definition, consumers do not. That's a major problem.

    As for your comment (at least as I read it) that businesses asserting their rights constitute "pretty close to fraud" I just say: wow. Firstly, I bet what's in your head are those very FEW (by both number and percentage when we talk about tens of millions of pieces of content and IP out there every year) examples of businesses pushing the limits, falsely claiming copyright, suing people and such. Those are the exceptions not the rule. As you say, "get over it" and stop using the emotionality of those exceptions as a crutch. And as for damaging society, that's a big, big statement, one which does not seem to factor in the benefits that these businesses also bring to the table (presently and historically). And please don't just limit any examples to the music or entertainment industry groups...this subject is much broader than that and you know it.

     

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  86.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement

    It's actually what's happening OUTSIDE the market, Mike. That's the complication. Should legitimate business embrace the black market? That's not a new question, but now the scale is massive and it's actually damaging to the legitimate market. Very different than just another evolutionary nuance within the legitimate market.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    The only important part of your response is the phrase "if everyone can be better off." That's a BIG if, not hardly proven even in a purely intellectual sense in these very pages. Destroying (through legal means or by undermining the existing through illegal acts) the IP underpinnings of modern business and society (please: no 16th century examples are needed here) would decidedly be immoral if it irreparably damages the society it purports to help.

     

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  88.  
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    Tom Anderson, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Good article

    One telling statistic is that none of the steam locomotives manufacturers survived to make diesel trains. This is a telling indication that those who refuse to evolve may just get old and die.

     

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  89.  
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    Joe, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    um...why would you pay for cable now anyway?

    I cancelled my Cable TV subscription back in November of last year. Transitioned to online video. Granted either a bunch of other people also shifted over or Cablevision is limiting my bandwidth because my service has gone to crap.

     

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  90.  
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    Steven Randal, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    comment

    It's just the way media evolves, tv companies should get with the times!

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Darryl Jones, Jul 5th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Love to pay

    Yes, I am always offended by free stuff. Damn, I LOVE paying high prices for paid TV.

     

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  92.  
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    Griff (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    I think Bobin is confused.

    1. We are not comparing paying customers with illegal file sharers. We are comparing people paying a lot for a show with people who have discovered they can legally see it for free.

    2. Secondly, lets just stop and parse what the cable exec in the original article said. I pay to see a show then find that actually folk can see it for free. Maybe I do feel INSULTED, but you know what ? The entity I feel insulted BY is the cable company. Just like when I find some "agency" charging for official birth certificate duplicates then find later I can actually do teh legwork myself at city hall and get the same official doc for half the price.

    3. Now, I like to read the Guardian newspaper online (it is free). I used to get it on my Palm via Avantgo (free). I now get it on my palm via Plucker/ Guardian mobile site (free). It is more convenient than carrying around a wad of paper that is instantly out of date.
    Am I an example of "entitlement" ? I have not said I won't PAY for the Guardian on my Palm. Noone has ever asked me. There is no subscription model out there for me to get that right now.

    4. The entitlement Mike refers to is the kneejerk reaction that when a better business model comes along you (the long established multinational) should expect assistance from the government and the law to put the upstart in their place. Like GM did - lobbying for laws to permit crap cars rather than make better cars.

    I personally believe that when micropayment is done right (and there is revenue sharing for back links, and live reader ratings for every article) this "how will journalists get paid" crap will seem like a quaint early century blip.

     

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  93.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Not confused at all, and I don't disagree with your points. The context of the discussion "we" are having is week beyond the specifics o this article. Mike uses this types of articles to (attempt to) make broader points. That's where his points often fall part, partly or completely. As it relates you this specific article not in any broader context, sure, we agree.

    Your GM example is a very good one, as they did actively work to in many ways to structurally allow for inferior product. But that's not a good parallel for much of the discussion in this area on tech dirt where the product isn't so much at issue as the means and legality of distribution.

    I'd also note the nuance regarding Hulu and other free services. While many of them are great, and I use them myself, they are far from proven to be sustainable, much less profitable. I, too, hope they figure the whole model and plan out because I find them very useful. But much remains to be seen.

     

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  94.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Here are two quick ones, there are surely more, but I am not going to take the time to troll through your postings:

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20090513/0132364860.shtml
    http://techdirt.com/articles/20 090424/0348184633.shtml


    I did not use the words you claimed I used. I did use "stupid" but not applied to the industry, but to the specific actions. The first one was "stupidly overreacting" and the second one was "stupidly celebrating." You claimed I called the industry itself "stupid, fascistic and archaic." None of those are true.

    Try again. I once again ask you to prove where I called the industry any of those things, or ask you to retract your false statement.

    Thanks.

    Possibly, but your "proof" and your datapoints are often soooo niche, limited to a specific content producer with a specific product, that it is simply untenable to extrapolate that to businesses as a whole within that industry, much less beyond it. If I brush off anything it's as a result of this rather than not understanding the evidence provided. As I've said many times before, the issue of scale is too often ignored when it is really, really meaningful.

    Not true. Not even close. We've given examples big, small, medium. We've explained the theory big, small and medium. Denial is a damn tough river for some folks to cross.

    The truth is that it really points to your emotionality and your frustration

    This is really funny. You chose not to respond to my point by telling me I did not respond to your point. Except I did respond to your point. What I did not do is live up to your bating me about my word choice. I figured there was no need to get into an emotional argument that you so wanted to get into, and instead decided to focus on the facts of the matter. So I ignored your bating, and focused on the facts, and rather than respond to them, you respond by making fun of the fact I ignored your bating -- and did so in an emotionally charged way! Funny.

    Okay. You may intend things that way, but your writing comes off differently at least to me. Most of what you rail against is big business and whole industries (which you conveniently homogenize). Most of what you celebrate is niche plays (you call them "business models") by minor actors. I guess I can recall you calling out a big business once or twice for something positive on the IP front, but it's rare.

    This is simply untrue. That you misread what I write is not my fault (though I'll try to keep it in mind to avoid in the future). What amuses me is that you make this assumption, yet on other threads people yell and scream at me for only supporting big businesses at the expense of small, niche businesses. In another thread I'm responding to between responding to these posts, there's a long chain of accusations from people who insist I'm a "shill" for big business.

    I mean, come on. If the trolls are going to try to pin something on me, would they at least agree on what?

    This is not about big business or small business -- it's about what works.

    I agree that some of those business that wait will be irreparably harmed. But many will NOT. Many will be just fine waiting a beat, letting others take the first leap and then using their scale, content, distribution channels, whatever to come on strong, adopt the alternative and do just fine. THIS has been shown time and time again, as well. Business can be about being first to market, but it's more often about being best to market with a sustainable model (by which I mean an actual comprehensive business model, not what is thrown around here). Your writing seems not to recognize this. First and quickest seems to trump everything in your business world. That is sometimes true. But not nearly always.

    Again, this is hilarious, since the other thread again insists exactly the opposite. They're claiming that I only support those who come late to the market and copy, and that I hate true innovators.

    I'm at a loss. Which is it?

    Consumer entitlement up to the point of illegality, yes. The problem is that the legal market for content is now being driven by illegal activity. That's a huge complication that makes the economics more difficult to understand and predict. Legitimate business have to work within the law. At least by your apparent definition, consumers do not. That's a major problem.

    I'm talking about the economic reality (which is not complicated at all). When a large % of the market is engaged in such "illegal" activity, and many vendors/producers are figuring out how to profit from it, you have to have pretty big blinders on to think that said activity is (a) going to be illegal much longer or (b) a problem. It's an opportunity. Stop complaining that it's illegal. Start focusing on how to profit from it.

    Those are the exceptions not the rule.

    Keep believing that. At some point you'll realize it's the other way around. We'll be here waiting for you to admit it. There are too many exceptions these days for it not to be the rule.

    And as for damaging society, that's a big, big statement, one which does not seem to factor in the benefits that these businesses also bring to the table (presently and historically). And please don't just limit any examples to the music or entertainment industry groups...this subject is much broader than that and you know it.

    Of course I know it. That's why I've been saying for years that what's happening in the entertainment industry is simply the early warning sign for what's going to happen in almost every industry you can name. Yet, based on your posts here, I'm beginning to think we're going to go through this pointless struggle with folks like yourself one by one as the industries' old guard refuse to admit that basic economics actually impacts their industry.

    What a waste of brainpower.

     

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  95.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement

    It's actually what's happening OUTSIDE the market, Mike. That's the complication. Should legitimate business embrace the black market? That's not a new question, but now the scale is massive and it's actually damaging to the legitimate market. Very different than just another evolutionary nuance within the legitimate market.

    The problem is you're calling it a black market. When that "black market" is 100x larger than the "real market" and those who are embracing it are finding that they're more profitable because of it, the whole "black market" concept goes away.

     

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  96.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    The only important part of your response is the phrase "if everyone can be better off." That's a BIG if, not hardly proven even in a purely intellectual sense in these very pages. Destroying (through legal means or by undermining the existing through illegal acts) the IP underpinnings of modern business and society (please: no 16th century examples are needed here) would decidedly be immoral if it irreparably damages the society it purports to help.

    Heh. Ok. Fair enough. You claim it's a big if. As far as I'm concerned that simply demonstrates your lack of knowledge on economic history or studies. If you can point out which markets are better off thanks to gov't monopolies, and then explain how it applies here, I'd love to know... I can name about two or three markets that I do believe are better off with gov't backed monopolies, but they have some very specific characteristics. They don't apply to content markets.

     

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  97.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Good gracious, you are extremely frustrated with your own readers...your consumers. And the contempt you're starting to show is exactly what you rail against, isn't it? "If the trolls are going to try to pin something on me..." Wow! Named contributors to your forum are now summarily dismissed as trolls because they question you or don't "get" what you are saying? Quite damning. I started contributing not to be contrarian, but because I genuinely think some of your points are ill-supported or not practical in the real world. And I have also agreed with you from time to time. But I guess I haven't disagreed in the right way or about the right things, so I'm dismissed with the rest of the contributing trolls. That kinda says it all, doesn't it. Yet you continue for many, many paragraphs...

    The challenge for you - not us trolls - is that this is your job. You presumably make your living from this. If so many people are "misreading" and "not understanding" your insightful prose, is it that so many people are bloody idiots or that there are real problems with the articulation of your views? Or is it a combination of this and those trolls having very different experiences in business than you? I love all the Econ 101 talk, but the fact is that few economists and even fewer professors of economics have ever made a payroll month after month, or sold those widgets they love to talk about. Yet, I listen and read and try to learn. Have you ever considered putting together a Masnick Primer or something to give people a foothold in your thinking so as to reduce your own increasingly obvious frustration? This would be a very significant act of inclusion which any business should embrace in order to expand its market. And you could give it away for FREE!

    As for your response to my response to your response to my response to your post, in very brief terms:

    I'm done with addressing your emotionality. It's pretty clear at this point so, enough said. And, okay, entitlement is what you say it is.

    On the "stupid" stuff, I spent exactly 30 seconds and executed two searches, finding - easily - two examples of you using stupid as an adverb when describing actions of some businesses. That it as an adjective didn't pop-up first is a function of the time I put in, not it's lack of existence. If you never used a specific word in the narrow context you have responded with, I do apologize. But the ease with which I found a bit of back-up makes my point. And you are very tone-aware, so you must know it, as well.

    "We've given examples big, small, medium. We've explained the theory big, small and medium." Meh, your examples are mostly small, and your theories are too small to be big or too big to be practical in many cases. But, fine. I'm sure you've explained everything in all ways, but the thick trolls just can't get it.

    "Again, this is hilarious, since the other thread again insists exactly the opposite." So now I have to explain the writings of others in this forum who disagree with you in different ways than I? The fact that others disagree with you in other ways somehow devalues or renders my disagreement invalid? Again, classic devices to avoid understanding, embracing and improving the articulation of your own point of view.

    "When a large % of the market is engaged in such "illegal" activity, and many vendors/producers are figuring out how to profit from it, you have to have pretty big blinders on to think that said activity is (a) going to be illegal much longer or (b) a problem. It's an opportunity. Stop complaining that it's illegal. Start focusing on how to profit from it." Why the quotes around illegal, Mike? After all, you claim you don't try to justify this activity, so why be afraid. The activities we're both referring to here are - in most western countries - illegal. Fact. Done. I agree with you that this has to be addressed and incorporated by business, but I disagree on two counts: 1) Business are not all ignoring this as you too often intimate...they are working to figure it out as I have previously mentioned. 2) I reject the a priori that if enough people do it, business and the legal system MUST cave and embrace the activity or a) die, b) harbor guilt for holding all of society back or 3) be "stupid" (or in supportable terms using your adverbial language "acting stupidly").

    "That you misread what I write is not my fault." Actually, it kinda is. I mean, you are the professional here, trying to make a living at this, right? I'm no genius, but I am hardly a fool, so if I'm "misreading" your work constantly, you can be pretty sure that a material percentage of your potential market suffers from the malady. Following the Masnick advice, should you ignore that, bitch about it, or change things?

    "There are too many exceptions these days for it not to be the rule." What? My comment was that you were leaning too much on the absolutely, factually few court cases and examples of overzealous pursuit of flimsy IP claims by businesses and industry groups. You are now saying this is the rule...this is how MOST businesses act MOST of the time? Amazing.

    "Yet, based on your posts here, I'm beginning to think we're going to go through this pointless struggle with folks like yourself one by one as the industries' old guard refuse to admit that basic economics actually impacts their industry." If the struggle is pointless, Mike, why do you carry on so? If we're all such thick trolls, why bother?

    "What a waste of brainpower." It needn't be that way, Mike. But this is your show, so it's your call.

     

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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    I'm willing to ply, but here's the critical piece to make sure we're talking about the same thing: define "better off." And you mention government monopolies...is that what we're talking about here?

     

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  99.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement

    Good point, though I'd say it more like those that find a way to legally profit from these activities have moved that comments from the black market back into the legitimate market. That's a good thing, we agree.

     

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  100.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement

    Sorry, that "commerce" not comment. Hit submit too soon.

     

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  101.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 5th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Good gracious, you are extremely frustrated with your own readers...your consumers. And the contempt you're starting to show is exactly what you rail against, isn't it? "If the trolls are going to try to pin something on me..." Wow! Named contributors to your forum are now summarily dismissed as trolls because they question you or don't "get" what you are saying?

    Fair enough. Calling you a troll was inappropriate. I apologize. However, the arguments you are making are typical of a group of folks who clearly are trolling. But I agree -- I do not believe you are trying to be a troll, and that was a mistake on my part.

    That said, I do find it hilarious that you accuse me of one thing the same time others are accusing me of the exact opposite. To me, it suggests that your own bias is leading you to jump to conclusions beyond what I have actually written.

    If so many people are "misreading" and "not understanding" your insightful prose, is it that so many people are bloody idiots or that there are real problems with the articulation of your views?

    It's not so many people. It's a rather small group of our readers -- many of whom are trolls. But a much larger group seems to get it.

    I love all the Econ 101 talk, but the fact is that few economists and even fewer professors of economics have ever made a payroll month after month, or sold those widgets they love to talk about.

    I have made payroll month after month, as have many of the economists whose work informs mine. Many have an awful lot of experience beyond academia.

    Have you ever considered putting together a Masnick Primer or something to give people a foothold in your thinking so as to reduce your own increasingly obvious frustration? This would be a very significant act of inclusion which any business should embrace in order to expand its market. And you could give it away for FREE!

    You can start here. The list of links is at the bottom:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070503/012939.shtml

    Probably better to start from the beginning and read in order, rather than in reverse.

    On the "stupid" stuff, I spent exactly 30 seconds and executed two searches, finding - easily - two examples of you using stupid as an adverb when describing actions of some businesses. That it as an adjective didn't pop-up first is a function of the time I put in, not it's lack of existence. If you never used a specific word in the narrow context you have responded with, I do apologize. But the ease with which I found a bit of back-up makes my point. And you are very tone-aware, so you must know it, as well.

    Yes, I'm tone aware and careful (mostly) in my word choice (the use of troll above was a mistake, which I have apologized for). You claimed that I regularly demonized those industries with words that I have no used to describe those industries at all. It upsets me that you seem to have read that into my writing.

    The industries I talk about I do not think of as stupid, fascist or archaic. Exactly the opposite. That's why I'm hoping they avoid making "stupid actions" that hinder their ability to thrive.

    Meh, your examples are mostly small, and your theories are too small to be big or too big to be practical in many cases. But, fine. I'm sure you've explained everything in all ways, but the thick trolls just can't get it.

    The examples are not mostly small. I would suggest that may be your own self-selected bias in terms of the articles that you have gotten upset over. We have given many examples of larger corporations making these things work -- and then folks come out of the woodwork to insist I'm just a fanboy of such-and-such big company. I'm sure you haven't, but if you sense my frustration, that's a part of the reason why.

    I'm focused on smart actions and models that work. I don't care what the company or industry or the size. I want what's best for the overall economy and society, and have seen enough evidence to support the models I've discussed here as leading to that. Until someone can present counter evidence, having someone insist that I have said something I have not is not particularly compelling evidence to the contrary.

    So now I have to explain the writings of others in this forum who disagree with you in different ways than I? The fact that others disagree with you in other ways somehow devalues or renders my disagreement invalid?

    It suggests that what you insist I have said or what you seem sure are my positions are actually not true at all, but a result of a self-selection bias on your part.

    It suggests that your opinions on what drives my posts is flat out wrong.

    Why the quotes around illegal, Mike?

    Because some of the actions are illegal, some are not but are called illegal. So I used quotes. Sorry to have upset you.

    After all, you claim you don't try to justify this activity, so why be afraid.

    I don't justify it. But I didn't want someone to then accuse me of lumping things like fair use into actions that I called illegal.

    I didn't realize it would then open me up to accusations from you that the quote marks actually mean I'm justifying the actions.

    I can't win, apparently.

    After all, you claim you don't try to justify this activity, so why be afraid. The activities we're both referring to here are - in most western countries - illegal. Fact. Done.

    Minus fair use. Or in many countries there are exceptions for personal, non-commercial use. But, fine.

    1) Business are not all ignoring this as you too often intimate...they are working to figure it out as I have previously mentioned.

    Well, let's be clear here. Some businesses absolutely are ignoring it. Others are taking actions that won't help. And some are making smart moves. And I recognize all of those. I'm not sure why you imply that I've said otherwise. I do not believe I have -- though, we've seen above that you already think I've made these claims about entire industries when I'm quite certain I have not.

    2) I reject the a priori that if enough people do it, business and the legal system MUST cave and embrace the activity or a) die, b) harbor guilt for holding all of society back or 3) be "stupid" (or in supportable terms using your adverbial language "acting stupidly").


    I did not say that either. What I did say is that IF there is ample evidence that by embracing it you can do better AND can serve your customers better, then it seems fair to say that it is rather silly not to do so. On top of that, if you then try to pass laws that make illegal these things because of your unwillingness to embrace such efforts, then it is fair to say you are holding back society.

    I believe where we disagree is that you do not believe there is such ample evidence. Fair enough. But I would argue you are wrong.

    Actually, it kinda is. I mean, you are the professional here, trying to make a living at this, right? I'm no genius, but I am hardly a fool, so if I'm "misreading" your work constantly, you can be pretty sure that a material percentage of your potential market suffers from the malady.

    From what I have seen, it's a rather small percentage who make these errors. Not everyone agrees with me, certainly, but the majority of folks seem to get it. A small minority have big blinders on (often for professional reasons). Then there are the trolls. Sometimes those last two groups can get confused. -- as I may have done earlier.

    If the struggle is pointless, Mike, why do you carry on so? If we're all such thick trolls, why bother?

    I ask myself that quite often. I think it's because I'm an optimist and I believe that I can convince those with blinders where they are wrong -- or that if it turns out that I am wrong, they will present me with the evidence needed to understand why I am wrong.

     

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  102.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Jul 6th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entitlement - Isn't THAT Rich

    Mike, thank you. I can understand your frustration, but I also think what you are observing is pretty predictable, too. You put your work out there to be read, absorbed and reacted to. Not everyone is going to read your intent, or be able to follow all your lines of reasoning.

    I will stipulate right here and now that I do not and cannot read everything you post. As a result, I agree that you know your work better than I ever could. You also know your intent, so for what it's worth, I accept your stated intent. You also use loaded words, which opens up your writing to a variety of reasonable interpretations. That's just the nature of the beast. This is a great summation, BTW: "I'm focused on smart actions and models that work. I don't care what the company or industry or the size. I want what's best for the overall economy and society, and have seen enough evidence to support the models I've discussed here as leading to that."

    A couple of points just to close this out:

    You continue to sue the word "upset" with regard to my writing. Please accept my word regarding my motivations. I am not "upset" or "worked-up" or "emotional." This is fun and interesting, and I'm learning a bit along the way. My approach generally (in work and life) requires me to write a lot, so the volume of discourse is not indicative of emotional state. If anything, seeing some of your reactions to my comments has made me curious to understand your motivations more, but surely not upset at you as a person or writer.

    "It's not so many people. It's a rather small group of our readers -- many of whom are trolls. But a much larger group seems to get it." Actually, if you follow media - I'm sure you do - you know that the percentage of those who actually participate by posting (or calling to a talkshow, for example) is tiny compared to the actual number of readers (or listeners). While I don't fool myself into thinking that 30% of your readers interpret your work the way I do, I think it's fair to say - as I did above - that a material percentage (2%, 5%, I don't know) may. Just food for thought, know your audience and all that.

    On the link provided: very helpful, indeed!

    "It suggests that what you insist I have said or what you seem sure are my positions are actually not true at all, but a result of a self-selection bias on your part." And you go on to use the term "bias" several more times. Of course I'm biased, and so are you and everyone else on the planet. You self-select what you post and how you interpret the information provided. I do exactly the same thing. Yet, we disagree on some things. Is my bias worse than yours or does it make my interpretation less valid than yours? No. So it's a wash, a wash for all of us. The old saying goes "where you stand depends on where you sit." Still true, for all of us including you.

    "Well, let's be clear here. Some businesses absolutely are ignoring it. Others are taking actions that won't help. And some are making smart moves." Indeed.

    "What I did say is that IF there is ample evidence that by embracing it you can do better AND can serve your customers better, then it seems fair to say that it is rather silly not to do so." Okay, we agree. "Must" was probably too strong an interpretation of your writing. The disagreement is whether there is yet ample, applicable, scalable evidence, precisely as you note.

    "On top of that, if you then try to pass laws that make illegal these things because of your unwillingness to embrace such efforts, then it is fair to say you are holding back society." I think it's more complicated than simply not wanting to embrace the new. It IS definitely about protecting existing markets and revenue, which is a responsibility of any business, don't you think? I agree that if shelling out bucks to lobbyists to further entrench their market to the exclusion of anything new is ALL a business does, then it is clearly bad for that market, and potentially the economy and society over time. But few businesses - I think we agree on this - are truly doing nothing and acting absolutely against any and all change. Most are working both sides of this, to varying degrees, to see what ultimately pans out while protecting the revenue in the short term.

    "From what I have seen, it's a rather small percentage who make these errors. Not everyone agrees with me, certainly, but the majority of folks seem to get it. A small minority have big blinders on (often for professional reasons). Then there are the trolls." As mentioned earlier, I bet the reader numbers are far greater than the participant numbers, I'm sure, so you may want to consider that. As for the rest of the thought, probably more of that understandable frustration you harbor. Folks who disagree with you (you call it an "error") either have blinders on or are trolls...is there any room in that group for reasonable people who just disagree with you on some points as a matter of foundation, differing experiences or interpretation?

    As for who is right and who is wrong, I don't view this forum as a battle between the Macro Right and Macro Wrong. I think there's going to be a whole lot of nuance to all of these topics, especially since economics and markets do not exist in an a-political, unbiased context where individual interest, national interest and corporate interests are all one in the same.

     

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  103.  
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    Rosedale (profile), Jul 6th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    "Companies beaming their content online for free similarly discriminate against their paying customers: in fact it would start eating into their business as more and more people would decide watching it for free online makes more sense."

    That is just the point. Most of the stations that offer all of their content online for free also "beam" that very same content over the air for free. Just because the vast majority of people choose to pay for cable doesn't make it the standard that we must live by for the rest of our lives. If NBC or even USA or whomever decides they can make a better business by bypassing cable companies so be it. I think you have the real business model confused by the way. Free is how TV began and how TV largely operates. When you pay for cable you are really paying for access to their lines not for the TV stations per se. NBC or ABC has always been in the business of selling an audience to advertisers. You seem to have this inverted.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Pietzki, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    "Have you ever gone shopping for something you really wanted, looked all over, finally buy it for $259.99, and as you are walking down the street you see it on sale for $199.99? Don't you feel stupid? Or perhaps you feel you got ripped off? So instead of showing off your new whatever to your friends and bragging about the great deal, you have already been deflated." That's called free market... Heck, if I am too lazy or stupid to shop around and see where I can get the best deal on my new Laptop, who do I blame? MYSELF! The shop can charge whatever they want, that's capitalism for you... I work in a bookshop and get customers complaining about our prices on certain books all the time. You know what I tell them? "If you've seen it cheaper somewhere else, go and buy it there - don't complain about it to me!"

    It's not about "give it to me free culture", it's about changing business models in a changing world. Is that so hard to understand? Consumers of free online services 'pay' (mostly) by looking at/clicking on ads.

    "it kills business models and removes the money required to produce new content in the future." what a load of rubbish! It doesn't "remove" the money, it gets the money from alternative sources. Most Australian TV stations have a website where you can watch episodes of TV series' which you've missed for free. Why? BECAUSE THEY MAKE MONEY FROM IT! There are ads on the site and at the start of the video. Each time someone views these ads or clicks on them, the website (ie, TV station, ie content producers via royalties) get paid. So please explain to me: how exactly does this remove the money required to produce content?

     

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  105.  
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    Same AC, Jul 6th, 2009 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Hi Rosedale

    I guess you didn't read my second comment.

    "If a company can offer content for free online, why should they be charging those who want to watch it through TV? Surely they can make their channel free to air and make money through advertising."

    Now the challenge is how to go online and still make the same amount of money (after all, who wants to make less money!). And we all know online advertising is nowhere near as expensive as TV spots are.

     

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