from the incentive-confusion dept
Ah, ICE. Whenever they do something like raid phone repair shops, we can't help but wonder just what they think their mandate really is. Akari Mizunashi took a shot at answering that question, and won most insightful comment of the week:
"Immigration & Custom's Enforcement (ICE)"
Uh, sorry, but that's not what it stands for.
Industry & Corporate Enforcement.
Please make note of this in the future, for accuracy. ;)
And as long as we're talking about people who seem very confused about the business they are in, we have to mention CBS and its threats to move to cable if Aereo is declared legal. An anonymous commenter took the second most insightful spot by parsing their confusion:
Content paid for by advertisers so let's shrink our audience for our advertisers because we hate that someone is expanding our advertisers' audience, nyah!
Stupid, stupid people.
Indeed. And for the first editor's choice, we continue that line of thought by going to Beech, who broke it down in more detail:
What I can't understand...
Money earned directly from someone watching via antenna: $0
Money earned directly from someone watching via Aereo: $0
Wait...what? So they make the same either way? Oh, they make money off of advertisers buying time on their network. Time becomes more valuable the more people watch it. So...
Number of people watching CBS over the air: X
Number of people watching CBS over the air + over Aereo: >/= X
Wait...what? So more eyeballs? Shouldn't that mean more ad money? Maybe there's a problem determining the ratings?...
OTA ratings: Compiled by Neilson based on a tiny sample group that we pray is representative of the whole. Aereo ratings: Aereo could technically (and probably does)count EXACTLY how many viewers are watching when/for how long/and from where in the world.
So...in a business of selling eyeballs, Aereo dumps a huge truck load of eyeballs on their doorstep and gets sued over it. On top of this CBS's own eyeball inventory is awfully inaccurate and Aereo's drop has an immaculate inventory sheet attached. And Aereo still get's sued.
And now, on top of everything, CBS is threatening to remove itself from the eyeballs of a bunch of viewers, to prevent the eyeballs of a BUNCH of other viewers from seeing them in a way they don't care for? In a business where eyeballs = money?
This case makes less sense by the minute.
And for our second editor's choice, we head to the latest ramblings of Jaron Lanier, from whence there is one more winning comment to come. JEDIDAH provided some general context to the raging debate by reminding everyone about the dirty truth of old school publishing:
If you know someone that is making a mint as a creator then both of you are very lucky. Most artists never even get accepted by a publisher. If they are lucky enough to get accepted by a publisher, they may never strike it big enough to pay back their advance. Chances are, they will have to do their own marketing as the publisher won't lift a finger for them.
Authors like King and Rowling are lottery winners.
Even seemingly well established authors end up doing their own promotion schlepping to cons of various kinds and making a pittance in the process.
The old system isn't really what it's cracked up to be.
This becomes readily apparent if you actually bother to seek out the talent and listen to them.
Jaron Lanier: Why people should pay more attention to me and not Web 2.0
When I noticed myself getting mean online I thought, “Something has gone terribly wrong.” It was obvious the rest of the ARPAnet had a social problem, not just me being some sort of asshole.
My book You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto is ruffling virtual feathers across the ARPAnet. And so it should, because I invented virtual reality. Wikipedia, which is a tissue of lies, says so. Prospect magazine’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll lists me. Also, my hair is much better than yours. And I’m fifty. According to Wikipedia, so I’d better change my birthday.
Today, the web is a bland place. It’s all user-generated content — silly clips on YouTube, spiteful anonymous comments on blogs about my books, endless photographs of people at a bar with their friends or up a mountain with an ironing board. It was much better back in the early days of the ARPAnet, before we let the commercial users on. These words will mostly be read by numb mobs composed of people who are no longer acting as individuals. You know, the peasants. Virtual reality is far more ennobling, but you never hear people talking about that any more.
The ARPAnet only creates banal mashups of old culture. Salvagers picking over a garbage dump. Only the old-world economy of books, films and newspapers creates original content like Lawnmower Man or Battlefield Earth. Everyone knows that real artists have no influences. This stuff the kids are into these days is just noise!
The ARPAnet is also killing music, according to my good friends at the RIAA. Did you know there’s no music in Spain any more? It’s true!
Will we — meaning I — be able to live off our brains in the future, or will we just have to give our creative works away for free? If we can’t live off our brains then we’ll need a form of SOCIALISM just to survive. WIKIPEDIA IS COMMUNISM! Until the Wikipedia Corporation finally builds a good interface, for goggles and power-gloves.
Open source and open content are a cancer. The dogma I object to is composed of a set of interlocking beliefs and doesn’t have a generally accepted overarching name as yet, so I’m going to call it Digital MAOISM, which is COMMUNISM. Update, five years later: Here is a detailed retcon explanation of why I was not just trolling for headlines by calling Wikipedia COMMUNISM, but was speaking precisely and you just weren’t thinking hard enough: [snip 10,000 words]
Also, you should get into virtual reality more.
(You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto is published on papyrus scroll and hand-illustrated by monks. You cannot have a copy until you have fought your way up the mountain and proven yourself worthy.)
To be fair to Warner Bros, Netflix's business model of "provide a useful product at a reasonable price" is incredibly harmful to their profits.
For editor's choice on the funny side we remain in Hollywood, this time with the news that Universal responded to a lawsuit about underpayment by saying it actually overpaid. Or, as an anonymous commenter put it:
Universal: We COULD have pulled even more accounting tricks to pay you even less, so we actually overpaid you.
And finally, we return to our post about silly cable threats from CBS. This comment actually got lots of insightful votes and almost no funny ones, and while it is indeed insightful, it also made me laugh the moment I read it, so here it is as the final editor's choice for funny:
Go ahead, CBS. Give the people back its spectrum. That'll teach 'em.
That's all for this week! See you tomorrow.