"1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it, until it’s been around for about ten years, when it gradually turns out to be alright, really."
- Douglas Adams, on inventions & technology
Dude, if you got those problems, you really are doing it wrong.
One of the problems with the official, legal channels is that none of them come even close to the convenience the internet has to offer if you go to the right places. Huge selection, perfect quality, great speeds and a helpful and knowledgeable community of music fans.
Even without factoring in the issue of price, not even iTunes or Spotify can compete with some of the resources the "pirates" have put together. How can they hope to get people to pay if they can't offer something comparable in terms of digital distribution?
Do you honestly believe Mike is that stupid?? If so, you are thicker than I thought.
He understands very well the issue of fixed costs and the need of recouping them somehow for a business to make sense. Only the dumbest of the "freetards" would miss that.
What he does is to suggest alternate ways of recouping those costs, and making a profit, which does not involve trying to sell stuff whose price is naturally forced down by the laws of the market, which will dictate that goods with (near-)zero marginal cost will be regarded as free *regardless of their initial fixed cost*. He is not saying it should be like that, just points out that it just IS, whether you like it or not. Gravity makes objects fall down. The market makes infinite goods become free. You can try to make things fly and you can try to charge for infinite goods. It's possible, but you are swimming against the current.
To be honest, I'm not yet convinced that every form of content can be succesfully supported by alternate means. Sometimes the fixed costs do seem too high, and the scarcities too insignificant, for certain businesses to seem viable. There are no guarantees that everything can survive in a changed landscape. It may be that artificial measures would be necessary to keep certain things afloat. I don't know. But I DO know that the less you waste your energy fighting against nature, the better.
I concur that it would be a good idea (and to have it somewhere convenient for quick access).
So much discussion takes place here because of misunderstanding of terminology, "scarcity" being a recurrent theme.
To be honest, it is understandable. Scarcity in its economic sense DOES mean something quite different from the colloquial, intuitive meaning and if the difference is not clear from the start to everyone, disagreements due to miscommunication will never end.
It is all made worse since sometimes the concept of scarcity in its colloquial meaning does come up meaningfully sometimes. For instance, "artificial scarcity" can be applied both in the economic sense (pretending or trying to force some infinite good to appear scarce) and the colloquial one (limiting the quantity supplied of some non-infinite good such that it is rare and the demand for it exceeds it). It can be rather confusing for folks who don't immediately get the distinction and is the source of much misunderstanding and disagreement.
You *may* have a certain point, but I don't think I'm convinced...
Mike has already dealt with the Rolls Royce case, which bases its appeal on exclusivity, and for which the infinite good of prestige is a good thing. *Everyone* knows about Rolls Royce and I'm sure they love when people talk about them.
Some things do derive at least some of their appeal from their obscurity (not exclusivity), though, but for that to translate into better profitability I think an unusual condition needs to be met, namely that excess demand actually *harms* the product.
You seem to have your example of that secret club in mind. Clubs have the characteristic that its demand is part of the product itself, because the people (what kind and how many) go there definitely influence the experience you get and thus ought to be controlled.
Bouncers and prices are the natural way of handling it, but may not be ideal in some conditions, such as if huge queues are not practical due to the location or if your target market isn't the über-rich. Therefore, controlled obscurity might be a good alternative, but that is only because the demand is a very important component of the product itself.
Another example could be how some metal (or indie) music fans, for instance, definitely seem to like and seek bands based on how "underground" they are, and may soon lose interest if they seem to be getting too much visibility. This would certainly translate into some lost fans, but whether this detracts from the overall demand and profitability would depend on whether the added visibility fails to attract enough new people to compensate for the initial loss. The music would need to be quite onerous (or bad) for that to be the case.
Of course, not everyone is concerned with maximum profitability (thank goodness), and some people are willing to stick with sub-optimal profits in order to be loyal to a particular vision, ideology or aesthetic.
Mike is right that current copyright law makes all this mess possible.
Where today he failed is in doing his homework to realize about the background of this, which makes it clear that this is not about the money for Gaiman, but about his desire to prevent McFarlane to succeed with his continued jackassery.
Yep, the novelty now is that McFarlane came up with the twist of re-inventing Medieval Spawn as "Dark Ages Spawn" in order to sidestep Gaiman's share of the copyright, and Gaiman decided he would not allow any of that crap. I'm not sure if it still holds, but at least until some time ago, McFarlane STILL owed him a share of the revenue.
Dick move, perhaps, but clearly not fuelled by greed. And in any case, I disagree.
McFarlane abuses copyright (and lies) to block Gaiman from working on Miracleman and after trying to deny Gaiman's co-ownership of Medieval Spawn & co. rights and failing, proceeds to try to sidestep them by making a rip-off copy of them.
Seriously, if anyone is to be lambasted for exploiting the mess that are copyright laws it needs to be McFarlane. Gaiman really is just playing on the defensive, as any reasonable person should.