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
    Charles Griswold, 2 Apr 2007 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Giving Away Content for Profit

    You're right about Magnatune. Most (if not all) of the artists are independent (although whether or not they're "unsigned" could be debated). The Baen Free Library is another matter, however. The authors that are offering their books for free download range from relative newcomers to well-known and -respected authors.

    Getting back to the music, Magnatune is not the only site to offer free music. Harvey Danger has their "Little by Little" album available as a free download, and has a page explaining why.

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