Good to see that Mike and Jon Healy seem to have been able to kiss and make up.
Is it really so hard to see the benefit in using "infringers" to your advantage? The very idea that they are willing to use their valuable time to build something around your product (or upload it to the internet, etc.) shows that they are fans with means to influence others and therefore valuable.
Maybe the real issue isn't about promoting the products, but about control. I can imagine that certain groups, when given the choice between maintaining control or making a lot more money, would actually choose control. The belief that monopolies are the ultimate source of power and success has distracted these groups from the real goal of making money.
Or maybe the problem is that lawyers are in control instead of entrepreneurs and businessmen. Common sense business is replaced with cutthroat litigation. After all, the lawyers make money regardless of the outcomes of lawsuits. They have nothing to lose by suing people all day long.
Once again, the system is the root cause of the problem and the breeding ground for despicable attorneys. Damn government interference!
I don't always read the comments, but this is the most extreme case I can remember where the readers disagree with Mike, almost vehemently.
I take a bit of a middle-road attitude in this. I don't have a lot of hope for this to succeed much beyond the netbook sector, but it would be nice to get some competition injected into the stale two-horse race between Apple and Microsoft (sorry Linux, you just aren't enough). If Chrome OS gets any kind of traction we are all winners. If not, I don't really care. Windows could be better, but it's good enough.
In the US at least, this could end up being good for Pandora. They are one of the few sites that have enough revenue to pay the ridiculous licensing fees. Even with the lower tier of 7%, there are not many independent companies that can drop $25,000 up front and make any money. I have a hard time believing margins are high enough in a competitive market to sustain a company with that kind of cost.
My guess is this deal kills off the majority of streaming sites and leaves a few big boys like Pandora and last.fm, as stated above. These few sites will receive the influx of listeners that have nowhere else to go and revenues will increase enough to support a 25% raping. They may even make money off the deal if the entire industry isn't killed off.
I, for one, am all the more grateful for torrents, as they may soon be the only cost-effective way of discovering new music.
The point is well demonstrated that offering media for free does not automatically mean you will not make money, or even that you won't be able to sell media. It is interesting to speculate on why someone would buy media that is available for free elsewhere.
Perhaps, as Dr. Strange suggests, the free track was placed in such an obscure location that the majority of people coming across the iTunes track didn't know there was a free version available. This implies that people only paid for the iTunes track because they didn't know there was a free alternative, and people will always choose free over not-free. If so, this is a reality that the media industries need to face. There will always be a free alternative in a world of infinite goods, and no amount of threatening, pleading, or lobbying will change that. Morals be damned, if that's what you base your position on.
I think in the Moby case convenience has a lot to do with the iTunes success. Many people feel like $1 is worth getting the track instantly and directly into iTunes, rather than some of the circuitous methods of file-sharing.
Lastly, maybe people perceive paid copies as being of a higher quality than copies from the Pirate Palace. They just feel shiny and new, not like they've been passed around by everyone from Sweden to China. In reality that sort of thinking is ridiculous and clearly not based in fact. But many people don't know as much about technology as readers of Techdirt, and their decisions are prone to be sentiment-based rather than fact-based.
Anyway, just some thoughts on the topic. Dr. Strange is very abrasive and confrontational, but at least he helps point out alternative explanations for events. I think they are wrong, but I'm glad I was able to figure out why.
That reminds me of the slogan of the Communist Party back in the days of the USSR. It went something like, "Truth through debate."
I don't know what that has to do with the topic, I just always liked the saying and thought I would blurt out my thoughts about it here. It's just a damn shame the Communists defiled the idea by completely undermining the public voice and manipulating public information. Not entirely unlike many of the dying industries of today. I'm just saying.
I hope the burgeoning era of public discourse maintains independence from the chains of powerful minorities.
Ahhh....where would these comments be without an Anonymous Coward ignoramus to provide us with target practice? It's too easy though, so on to another thought.
Reading between the lines of Taylor's statement that he regrets the music industry's reluctance to embrace Napster, I think what he meant was, "We should have bought Napster out immediately and turned it into an online storefront with the same prices we charge in brick and mortar stores." His regret isn't that they took down Napster, but that they turned themselves into the enemy while doing so. They should have played like they were excited about Napster and slowly inoculated it to preserve their margins.
The industry's dumbest move was making the internet a weapon of the people rather than a tool for maintaining the status quo. As soon as the issue was framed as the internet vs. the RIAA, the game was over for them.
Here's a challenge to Another AC: bother to understand what this site is about before assuming it and its commentors are ignorant and stupid. In my point of view, the first goal of this site is to point out and explain the realities of the tech industries. The second goal is to offer alternatives to broken business models that don't work in reality.
This post falls mainly under goal one. Specifically, the reality is that a paywall will significantly cut the number of visitors your site will get. The reality is that your site's community will be much smaller and much less diverse. And as has been pointed out time and time again, traditional newspapers were always in the business of selling their community to advertisers, not their content to the community.
You happen to be partially right in this case because the WSJ is a bit of an exception to the rule. They have always charged more and given more in-depth analysis than the average paper. They have a loyal and wealthy subset of readers that value convenience and deep analysis above all and will pay whatever WSJ charges.
But that doesn't excuse making rash generalities and accusations about the readership of Techdirt. Fact is, paywalls will not work for the vast majority of news providers. Paywalls send customers to other sources, and that was the reality this post was meant to convey. It did so brilliantly.
Finally, you (Another AC) challenge us to provide alternatives rather than just talk about what doesn't work. Clearly you are incapable of reading the comments already posted. The very first comment by Windowsology pointed out the idea of giving away the basic stuff for free and putting the high-quality, in-depth analysis behind the paywall or in print. How is that not a good alternative? Or did you just not see it because as soon as you saw the word free your brain shut down?
Let's just hope that this fails in a spectacular way so that other countries will be reluctant to follow suit. Perhaps the EU will slap them down like the dirty yellowbellies they are. Or perhaps the French ISP's will get a spine and refuse to participate.
Regardless, the upcoming generations of voters will not stand for these kinds of anti-technology laws. It is infuriating to think about how little the French politicians who voted for the law understand about technology.
Startups don't want the kind of energy that Wall Street folk would bring anyway. I mean, aren't they the people that drove our economy to the brink in the first place? Their "me first" attitude, their willingness to sacrifice principles for money, and their tendency to preserve the status quo rather than innovate and improve...any decent startup should be avoiding that type of person.
You have a good point, Matt. Justice Scalia does have a track record of minimal government power, which is usually a good thing. However, there are two things I seriously love and believe deserve government protection: free speech and privacy. The moment either of those becomes compromised, what I consider liberty becomes compromised as well. My personal issue with Scalia's statement is that he seems to believe nobility and honor are enough to protect our privacy from corporations and government. The Internet's short history has already proven such a concept to be laughable.
See, your rebuttal to Johnny Rotten might mean something around here if nobody ever read the posts. But anyone here that has half a brain has seen example after example after example of artists that make money in spite of illegal downloading and without the awesome money and exposure of the record labels. It is an antiquated business model gasping for air in a world that no longer needs its services. So please don't throw anonymous insults without at least researching your intended audience.
It is worth pointing out that there is an example of a news company that figured it out soon enough and played smart. In Utah there is a news corporation called KSL that runs an online classifieds at least as popular as Craigslist, if not more so. I don't know details, but I do know the design and functionality of the site is superior to Craigslist, as is the moderation. All of that likely has enabled their success.
Being one of the few, vastly outnumbered liberals in Utah, I can vouch for the fact that there are a lot of problems with the way things work here. However, to say that it is unbearable to live here is whiny bitching from someone that clearly cannot handle a challenge.
The politics are frustrating beyond belief and the hypocrisy of theocratic representatives sometimes makes me want to use a statue of Brigham Young to pummel the state legislature to death, but Utah is a great state and it's getting better. What we need are more open-minded people living in the state and fighting for common sense.
The majority of this state are sheep, but is that so different from the rest of the country? Put the pitchforks down and use your BRAINS to fight the evil you see.