I have to agree. Case in point: I subscribe to a computer magazine (name withheld, world is sue-happy remember?) I get the magazine. It costs $1/month. Yes, $12 per year. Yes, they have the same thing online and sometimes I do go there. I feel it to be a small, personal version of CwF+RtB. CwF: free content online including ability to download back-issues as pdfs. RtB: sometimes it's nice to be able to sit somewhere with a physical magazine and read the articles and cut/paste certain things I need in a handy location.
Now, back to the subscription. They have a lot of ads. They are targeted at a certain demographic. Sometimes the ads work, sometimes not, but they usually at least get me to thinking about their product and might even cause me to do some research on it. The magazine gets ad revenue, the website gets ad revenue, I potentially and sometimes do click on the various ad links thus generating more revenue for them. And all I'm out is $1.00 and some minor space for the magazine. I'm happy, the advertiser's happy (well, would be if I bought more), the magazine is happy.
I think it just boils down to fear. The concept of giving away your product in order to make money, to the major business world, is new. Anything new to someone who's never changed is scary. Fear of change vs. fear of dying out. You either choose to overcome the first, or you're forced to overcome the second.
Now we all get to sit back and watch the lawsuits out of East Texas in regards to this. It appears that every company that ever owned a patent on anything is suing everyone else for creating something that they couldn't. Maybe we need to just do away with all this crap and let people create what they want. If they manage to make money at it, kudos. If I decide to take an existing object and repurpose it to do something else, I'm afraid to patent it or tell anyone about it. Odds are that I'd get sued.
Now that Redbox is forced into this deal, they are going to lose some more revenue. Here's how. I'm too poor to afford seeing movies in theaters. So, I rely on Redbox to be able to rent them (local video store is both more expensive and has smaller selection). If I rent a movie and I like it, I usually end up buying it. Now, here's where the trouble pops in. When a movie is just released BestBuy and Walmart have the price lowered right away for the first week or two (don't quote me on exact time). NOW when I rent a movie, if I like it and want to buy it it'll be back up to full price since it's a month after the release. Then I'm forced to wait for it to be in the $5.00 bin until I can get it. By then, I doubt I'd even remember the movie exists, let alone want to buy it at that time.
The movie studios behind deals such as this must be brain-dead to not figure this bit of economic madness out. It's stunts like this that end up causing people to go to file-sharing sites to download the movie. If the movie industry can't do anything smart, they should do nothing at all and leave everything as it is instead of making things worse.
I installed Bioshock 1 with non-stop issues. Called 2K about 10 times over 2 weeks with no solution. I e-mailed them constantly. Essentially there was no way to get it to work, and 2K was absolutely no help. I finally got it working by updating to Windows 7. Now that's I've finished it, the ending was such a let-down it's as though no one there cared about the ending. "Let's just finish it and get our paychecks." Now that Bioshock 2 is out, yes I'd like to play it but I'm not going to buy it. They don't have a demo I can try to see if it will work out-of-the-box. I had considered downloading a torrent of it, but I'm not going to do that, either. 2K has essentially lost a customer due to past DRM issues, bad programming, and poor customer support.
As a small-town techie, I am both for an against such a thing.
Firstly, I agree because most of the problems I encounter are usually due to the most inane of happenstances. Things that, if they were forced to take a simple class, could've been avoided. Simple things like deleting files, how to open certain files, and why they always get a virus after surfing around on Myspace.com.
On the other hand, if it weren't for them making these mistakes, I would not have this source of income.
I would be for a discount card. Take a class voluntarily, learn about your computer, know the difference between RAM and storage space, and you get a card that all techies would acknowledge and give a discount on repairs. No card? Full price. But then you'd have issues with people making copies of them. But if the card were made in such a way that it was not impossible to copy (face it, that's impossible) but very difficult and would require much expertise, then you'd be deserving of said discount, so kudos.
Seriously, how many of us do or want to charge extra when we see the computer is using XPSP2 and IE5? Let alone WinME?
At what point is it copyright infringement and at what point is it an homage or parody which would be protected under the First Ammendment? It's not as though they made the characters in order to profit from them. For references do searches for Marvel vs. NCSoft and you'll see how rediculous both sides of the argument are.
Also, I feel that copyright has definately gotten out of control. People and companies seem to be using it as a defense or attack mechanism in order to destroy something they don't like, namely other people doing something similar to them. When it comes to reporting, I know you're supposed to go in-depth and give much detail for the editors to weed out, but copyright suits due to it? What are we supposed to do? Call them "The Group Which Shall Not Be Named"? That itself sounds much like copyright infringement as well as being a boring story.
The world has gotten sue-happy. Everyone needs to stop suing everyone else, calm down, take a chill pill, and learn to freaking relax. So what if someone makes reference to something you did or own? It's at the point where they try to make money from it without your permission that you have to worry about.
If I create an item and call it The Next Cool Thing and a reporter writes about it, I would be glad they used the name and an image of it. I would demand it was spelled right and the picture was clear. If someone invented The Cooler Next Thing I wouldn't sue, I would devise a marketing campaign to ensure that there was no way to accidentally confuse them as being the same. And likely to point out flaws in it. If it was Really Cool I might even buy one myself. And then I would go out and invent The Last Coolest Thing Ever and wonder if they can top that.