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
    Ed, 3 Apr 2007 @ 7:56am

    Re: by RandomThoughts

    RandomThoughts Writes:

    "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."

    I have no problem not uploading audio now, thank you very much.

    While I am not a hugh audiophile in terms of music, my collection of audio books would put many to shame. And no audio I purchased has copy protection. I would personally love to use Audible, but will not, despite owning an Ipod, because of copy protection. I also own many portable and non-portable mp3 players (I never noticed just how many until typing this, counting computers, of order 20) . Most of which do not support DRM. Many companies are willing to sell audio books not only on CD, but actually on MP3 CD, with no protection whatsoever (The Mp3 CD costs about the same as a Hardcover). One company even includes a card inside the case, stating "This Audiobook was not forgotten hear, it was left behind for others to enjoy." They are actually encouraging purchasers to listen, and pass the legally purchased copy on to some one else. Personally I listen over & over to most things, and donate to a library the things I don't care for. You come up with a DRM solution that will not interfere with my using my purchased audio in any device I choose, at any moment, leaving copies in all my computers at work and home, etc. then maybe you can convince me. (Since I am but one person, no matter how many copies I have, I can't play more than one copy at a time, so have no MORAL problems with multiple copies). I believe in supporting an artist, even in supporting distributors within reason.

    "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."

    Maybe not, but how would you feel if you were forced to show a receipt, every time you went to a cabinet to get a snack, or a drink from the fridge. How about proof of age requirements before a beer bottle can be opened in your own home? This is DRM. You are not a potential criminal once, but every single time you play a song, or watch a DVD. If DRM is so good, why do DVD producers FORCE me to spend 60 seconds or so reading FBI/Interpol warnings, before watching a legally purchased DVD? EVERY TIME I WATCH IT. Some Series DVDs force you to sit through it before every episode.

    I will continue to support artists I enjoy, and companies that treat me honestly, and expect the same from me in return.

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