From SOPA To Cybersecurity: All About Trying To Control The Internet

from the watch-this dept

Al Jazeera English recently did a very well done episode on its Fault Lines program about attempts by Hollywood and the US government to control the internet. It's about 24 minutes long and includes interviews with a bunch of people who were involved in protecting the internet discussing what happened. The first half is about the SOPA/PIPA fight, and how it was basically about Hollywood trying to hold back the internet:
Halfway through, it shifts to talk about the various cybersecurity bills and attempts to crackdown on Anonymous. Basically, it's about the government completely overreacting to what they believe are "threats" to the internet. Towards the end it also talks about how the government can and does abuse its powers, highlighting the case of Thomas Drake. It's a great video with some fantastic interviews, though it could do without the overly dramatic music. Still, it's good to see more people connecting the dots, and recognizing that much of what we're seeing these days is really just an attempt to "control" a platform that has been so successful because it was so wide open. Many of us believe that it needs to stay that way to remain a powerful tool for speech and for progress.

Filed Under: control, cybersecurity, internet, sopa

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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 13 Aug 2012 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, actually, Netflix and Apple run on the old system

    Not exactly. They do run on the "system" of selling access to media, so in that way they are similar. But they have significant differences that make them closer to a "new" business model. iTunes Match is a good example.

    Normal disruptive changes in business are a move from one reasonable successful model to an even more successful one.

    That is not even remotely what "disruptive change" means. A disruptive change is a change in market conditions, not business models, usually brought about via technology. The "even more successful" models don't exist until upstart industries find ways of capitalizing on disruptive changes. But the disruptive changes come about whether "even more successful" models exist or not.

    This is a move from a functional and successful model to no model at all, just give it all away.

    The only person who thinks anyone is saying "just give it all away" is you.

    What you don't seem to get is that copyright doesn't stop anyone with a better idea, a better system, and better product to operate in their own ways.

    That's exactly what it does. If that were true, Megaupload or The Pirate Bay would be perfectly legal, since that's exactly what they were doing.

    If there is a better way that makes so much more money, the labels will climb over broken glass to get to it.

    That's not what "efficiency" means. In fact, the more efficient an economic system is, the less money labels will make. Their profit arises entirely from economic inefficiency.

    Taking a dozen songs, packaging them together in $1.50 worth of plastic and paper, and selling them for $15, is not economic efficiency. Yet that's the only reason record labels were able to achieve their profits in the 90's. On the other hand, taking those songs, packaging them as digital files, and distributing them for $1 each is much more efficient. And it's the main reason labels aren't making as much money nowadays.

    Yes, but it doesn't change the cost to make what is being transported, and that is still the big end of the deal.

    Then, the sunk cost will shift from those who make money under the old, inefficient system - manufacturers and wholesalers (which is what record labels really are) - to those who make money under new, efficient systems.

    That may not happen soon (copyright ownership has delayed this process considerably). And the "new" moneymakers may be the same companies as the "old" moneymakers (if they embrace change and adapt). But it will happen.

    Please point to the part of the "new company" music industry that has made even 20% of the sales in the last year (so about 1 billion).

    Digital sales are certainly part of the "new company" music industry. I'm pretty sure iTune, Amazon MP3, Spotify, Rhapsody, and eMusic made a hell of a lot more than 20% of sales. Not to mention services like Pandora, Tunecore, CD Baby, RouteNote, Soundcloud, Kickstarter, etc - the impact of which is hard to quantify, as most don't report to Soundscan.

    The real question is how much the "old company" music model made - that is, sales of physical CD's. They still sell plenty; but as of 2011, they make up less than half of total sales for recorded music. (That's in dollars; in purchases, digital overtook physical way back in 2007.)

    Since the "new company" music models pay artists a much higher percentage of income than the "old company" music models, I'll bet that they all account for a lot more than 20% of the money that actually goes to musicians.

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