Hollywood & The RIAA Won't Let Tech Save Them
from the fighting-the-wrong-fight dept
We’ve discussed in the past how ridiculous it is to claim that there’s a fight between “Hollywood and Silicon Valley.” After all, the tech industry keeps creating the tools for Hollywood to succeed and broaden its market… and every time they do so, Hollywood responds by attacking those providing the tools. Every innovation that created a vast new market from which to profit from has been attacked. The gramophone. Radio. TV. Cable TV. The VCR. The MP3 player. YouTube. The DVR. In the end, all of these created great new opportunities, but were attacked. As we’ve said, it’s a very strange war where one side (tech) is building all the weapons for the other side… only to see them point those new weapons at their own feet.
Of course, it’s actually even worse than that. Because, not only does Hollywood point these new weapons at their own feet… they then try to sue and blame the tech industry for creating these same weapons. It’s a pretty hostile environment.
And this is a massive problem for Hollywood. Because, throughout history, it has been shown that the only solution that actually helps solve the “issue” of “piracy” is the creation of new and useful legitimate services. And the entertainment industry is doing its best to scare everyone off from doing that by attacking each of those new services as it comes about. Entrepreneur Tyler Crowley has a great analogy explaining how the entertainment industry is driving the very innovators it needs help from away. He talks about how entrepreneurs look at markets as “islands of opportunity.” He lists out a few, such as the Facebook island and the Apple island.
For tech folks, from the 35,000′ view, there are islands of opportunity. There’s Apple Island, Facebook Island, Microsoft Island, among many others and yes there’s Music Biz Island. Now, we as tech folks have many friends who have sailed to Apple Island and we know that it’s $99/year to doc your boat and if you build anything Apple Island will tax you at 30%. Many of our friends are partying their asses off on Apple Island while making millions (and in some recent cases billions) and that sure sounds like a nice place to build a business.
He talks about a few other of these “islands of opportunity” (and does a nice job breaking them down). But then he gets to the “music biz island” (which I’d argue is actually the “legacy entertainment biz island”) and notes the hostile reception:
Now, we also know of Music Biz Island which is where the natives start firing cannons as you approach, and if not stuck at sea, one must negotiate with the chiefs for 9 months before given permission to dock. Those who do go ashore are slowly eaten alive by the native cannibals. As a result, all the tugboats and lighthouses (investors, advisors) warn to stay far away from Music Biz Island, as nobody has ever gotten off alive. If that wasn’t bad enough, while Apple and Facebook Island are built with sea walls to protect from the rising oceans, Music Biz Island is already 5 ft under and the educated locals are fleeing for Topspin Island.
In other words, the good entrepreneurs, who actually can help the entertainment industry (some of whom tried in the past) are actively pushed away from helping. And then the entertainment industry whines that no one wants to help them. Perhaps they should look at being just a bit more welcoming…
On a side note: Crowley’s writeup was actually in response to a dinner gathering at some super super swank LA eatery that tried to bring together the heads of the major labels with some LA entrepreneurs. That’s actually encouraging, though, again, meeting in backrooms is still missing the point. Why is it so hard for the industry to have a discussion in public?