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, 3 Apr 2007 @ 6:27am

    Its called fighting shrinkage. Security guards in a store do nothing to enhance the customers value, yet they are there. When you walk out of a shopping club, there usually is a person checking your cart to make sure you paid for everything. That does nothing to enhance the customer experience. The cameras in the casinos, stores, banks and airports all are there to reduce crime.

    Treating customers like criminals? I don't feel like a terrorist when I am waiting in the security line at the airport (although in some airports it does feel like you are in jail) nor do I feel like a criminal when someone at Home Depot checks my cart on the way out.

    DRM is needed, but it needs to be in a form that allows customers free reign to listen to their purchase on any devise they own, but not allow them to distribute it out to others. Just because it has not worked yet doesn't mean that its goal should just be ignored. There is a business decision that needs to be made, when the sales increase from adding DRM is greater than the sales loss from DRM, then DRM will continue to be added. Determining that is a difficult thing.

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