Kevin Stapp writes in to point out an interesting article over at the Motley Fool, where the author, Anders Bylund, points out why the new ProIP law is bad for the big entertainment companies
from the perspective of an investor in those companies. Basically, he recognizes what some of us have been saying for years. If you rely on stronger copyright as a crutch
to protect an old business model, you're much slower to adopt newer business models that can greatly increase
the size of your market. In other words, by denying the growth potential of infinite goods, you shrink the potential size of your market, and that's bad for the company and bad for investors:
As much as I love my Walt Disney investment and the great entertainment the company has created over the years, it's also part of a boneheaded industry that can't deal with the digital revolution.... Disney, Warner Music, and their colleagues could handle rampant piracy in a much more delicate manner and turn today's massive problem into free distribution and dirt cheap marketing. Yes, there are ways to make money when others copy your dearly beloved content for free. The PRO-IP Act is a step in exactly the wrong direction, though.
Exactly. And this reinforces the point
that it's a mistake to keep trying to find the right "balance"
between content producers and content consumers. There's no need for a balance if the content producers adopt business models that both expand their market (by properly defining the market
) and leave consumers free to share and promote the content in a way that actually helps the bottom line of the content producer. It's quite rare to see short-term investor-types recognize such strategies, so it's quite interesting to see a discussion like this on a mainstream site like the Motley Fool. Hopefully others will start recognizing this reality soon as well.