Andreessen Says Copy Protection Efforts Are Doomed

from the of-course-they-are dept

At the National Association of Broadcasters meeting this week, Mark Andreessen told the industry that they really ought to give up this silly copy protection fight. He points out (correctly) that the industry ought to look at this as feedback from customers who obviously aren’t getting what they want – and then see it as a huge opportunity. Instead, they just see it as a threat. He then compares the situation to the early days of the software industry where there was tremendous piracy – and some useless attempts at adding copy protection. However, when software makers embraced their customers and offered good software at reasonable prices they found companies and consumers willing to pay. I’m not sure if I agree with the software analogy, but I do think the entertainment industry does need to start looking at this as an opportunity, instead of a threat.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Andreessen Says Copy Protection Efforts Are Doomed”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Guitarhead (user link) says:

Rant warning

The entertainment industry needs to realise something, especially the record companies. Their business is reliant upon them controlling distribution, NOT copyright. There’s nothing magical about the record industry, they sell records, that’s it.

The truth of it is over the next few years people simply will not be purchasing physical media anymore, such as CD’s. All of this stuff will be distributed over networks. All home entertainment hardware having will come equipped with a very capable network connection to large depositories of media.

The entertainment industry should stop trying to protect it’s antiquated distribution model with pointless copy protection and focus on how it’s going control distribution in the new global digital economy. If they don’t get it, then they will not survive. That may not be such a bad thing considering the amount of garbage that’s produced at the moment.

2Lazy2Register says:


Andreeson is an even bigger idiot than I had thought if he thinks software piracy has gone away, or even reduced over time. The BSA would be thrilled if that were the case, not sending out “We’re gonna getcha” mail. If anything, it’s a bigger problem now than it has ever been. He oughta crawl out from under his rock and take a look around now and then.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Hmm.

Actually, I agree with Andreeson to some extent. Yes, there is still plenty of piracy. However, there are a ton of people who are still buying software. The problem of piracy has been reduced greatly – as companies have offered more reasonably priced products which many people do pay for. Sure, there’s some piracy. There’s always going to be some piracy. However the amount of piracy in the software world is nothing like the amount of file sharing going on in the music world.

I also believe that the majority of software pirates would never purchase the software anyway. Obviously, that’s not always true, but in the majority of cases it is – meaning that these aren’t “lost sales” to the software industry.

If software piracy was such a problem then no software company would be making money – which doesn’t seem to be the case.

2Lazy2Register says:

Re: Re: Hmm.

But using your argument, one would have to say that the music industry must not be making any money if the Napster-effect is such a problem. I don’t know if that is the case or not, though.
I think you also should make a distinction between software pirated by business versus software pirated by home consumers. Yes, I agree that businesses are probably getting better about licensing, but are home consumers? It’s just as easy to pirate a copy of Max Payne using Morpheus as it is to grab a few Beatles tunes. It’s also pretty easy to file share video games, and I’ll bet that there is A LOT of that going on. The only really limiting factor today is bandwidth – it’s a lot easier to download music files with a slow connection than software/games.
Just my opinion, of course, and admittedly biased due to my dislike of Andreeson. If you ever look into where the Netscape browser REALLY came from you might feel the same. Frankly, I think he’s an unethical turd. Again, just my opinion.

Adam Barr says:

why people love streaming

I wonder about this comment, “People are standing up in the tens of millions. They love MP3s, they love digital video, they love streaming.”
Don’t they just love them because it lets them get music for free that they would normally have to pay for?
Also what is with that random quote from Bill Gates “Open Letter to Hobbyists”. Is that supposed to support Andreessen’s argument, or counter it?
– adam

Ruthless_Bastard says:

Copy protection etc.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – copyright is DOOMED. Period. Enforcing copyright laws for digital content is like trying to enforce drug laws if drugs were manufactured in unlimited quantities for free and distributed over phone lines. The biggest danger that I can see is that, before everyone wakes up to this fact, the Fed’s efforts to enforce copyright will degenerate into the same bash-your-doors-in-civil-liberties-be-damned nonsense that characterizes the drug enforcement effort.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...