What's Worse Than Letting The Lawyers Run Your Entertainment Company?

from the who's-in-charge-over-there dept

There are plenty of examples of the damage lawyers can do when they're effectively allowed to run entertainment companies, as their efforts to protect copyrighted material alienate fans and kill off the promotional value of content. But perhaps even worse than letting lawyers run an entertainment company is putting it in the hands of your anti-piracy chief. According to an article in the New York Times, Warner Brothers Entertainment's head anti-piracy exec reviews all the company's digital distribution deals -- which would go a long way towards explaining its "strategy" in this area. The exec even has the gall to portray the studios' deal with BitTorrent to set up a crappy store selling DRM'd content as something groundbreaking, when it's just the latest studio-backed download site that puts locking down content above everything else, including building something consumers would actually want to use. That's what happens, though, when you let your company be controlled by somebody whose only job is to try and stop piracy. It's simple -- if that's your top priority, your products will reflect it, and subsequently, so will your bottom line. Sure, maybe nobody is pirating movies from the legal BitTorrent store, but hardly anybody's going to be buying movies from it, either. When stopping piracy is the top goal, everything else -- including actually making money -- is going to suffer. These are the sort of people who say you can't compete with free, so they focus on the fruitless, impossible task of eliminating the free content, instead of figuring out how to change their business models and make money in spite of the free content.

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  1. identicon
    RandomThoughts, 2 Apr 2007 @ 5:56pm

    OK, I understand that DRM isn't a popular thing with most people, but here is my question. If DRM worked and didn't cause any problems with consumers using their purchase on any of the devices they owned but didn’t allow them to share their purchase with anyone, would that be ok?

    You talk about changing business models, but I just don’t see how allowing free access to music (or any other digital content encourages more of that good content. Keep in mind that the long tail works for the aggregators, not the individual artists or content creators. In the end, if labels are not paid for their content, they will change their business. Do we want a world filled with YouTube performers? I can watch American Idol for that.

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