Communications people: "no comment" sounds like a cop-out, but it is far better than committing your organization to a course of action. The peons in a company are usually advised to direct all questions from the public and press to the communications officer. I would think that similar advice would be given to the communications officer: If you get a financial inquiry, direct it to the accountants. If you get a legal inquiry, direct it to the lawyers.
The legality or illegality of the act itself is not what should be at issue. We should be considering the free speech and freedom of expression issue: Is the depiction of vile and reprehensible things in written words, moreover the fictionalized depiction of such things, something that one party should be allowed to force another party to "censor"?
We'll hear the argument that censorship only happens by the government. So maybe this is technically not censorship. But we've seen how little distinction there is between big corporate interests and the government. We've also seen how a government-supported monopoly supports a lot of these big corporations (like the patents held by PayPal). So one way or another, this is very much like censorship, if not actually censorship.
Okay. Let's say the kids I know understand the differences perfectly. AND THEY DON'T CARE.
It doesn't mean they are illiterate. It means that they have come to expect and trust that the technologies are woven together and integral to all aspects of their own lives.
Yes there is a certain over-concentration and reliance on some proprietary stuff... leaving them open to abused by central authorities. But there's also a ton of decentralization, redundancy, and "routing around failure" that goes on too.
Oh dear. I am usually too naive to think this way. But it is probably the reason that there's vested interest in staying with the status quo and lobbying to get the world around them to change.
Making any particular production "unprofitable" is a counter-intuitive motivation that I can't really wrap my head around. Yet we've seen enough examples of Hollywood and record company accounting that it is almost certainly at play here.
"The best business models should make the most money."
There is nothing to dispute in this statement. It is not incorrect. However, as you point out, the thinking behind the statement is flawed.
The most money (sustainable profits) cannot be made by creating artificial scarcity and then legislating or litigating customers into compliance.
The most money cannot be made by refusing to adapt to a changing business environment.
The most money can be made by innovating and being a LEADER in an industry.
The way forward is risky for sure, and we know that today's Hollywood is somewhat risk averse. But as with all things the big risk can reap a big reward.
What confuses me is that Hollywood does this already: a small fraction of big budget films succeed so wildly that they make up for any failures. Couldn't they try ten different business models and see which ones consistently make the most money?
Funny you should bring up this example. In my world (real estate), I purchase subscriptions to magazines that are delivered to doctors' offices. So the doctor's not even paying but I get the exposure of my name on the cover of the magazine and the magazine charges me very little because they get the benefits you outlined.
The question is always the same: If you make the shows available online for, say, $1 download (or put them on Hulu... or whatever the idea may be), how many people drop your higher price product to go for the cheaper download / DVD / streaming option?
This is a very legitimate question. And the sad answer, in my opinion, for the content industry is: a lot and more as time goes on. However, it is always better to cannibalize from your own business than to allow competitors to eat it alive.
Also, the outmoded business model will eventually die anyway, so why not hasten its demise and become kings of the new business model? It may be too late of course, but if you sold to every person willing to pay the lower amount, you'd certainly have a very robust and profitable business on your hands.
I am looking into the future right now. The specific event is shrouded in mist. But I clearly see that figuring out who the stakeholders in an issue are, then inviting them all to participate makes the event eminently reasonable.
I notice the text of the bill is already starting to get tied in knots over the concept of what "illegal content" is. Defining illegal content, then censoring only that, is going to be an extremely difficult thing to accomplish -- if it is even desirable.
I remember the discussions we had in Philosophy about Moral Relativism. Are their any acts or depictions of acts that are universally condemned? We often point to child abuse and murder as being universally "wrong". But then you see that the definitions of each have to be nuanced and defined because even in those extreme cases there are exceptions that people want. Examples: 1. Teens sending sexually suggestive texts to each other probably needs to be an exception to the broad definition of "child porn" that the bill currently includes. 2. Capital punishment is state-sponsored murder and has checks and balances. But a video recording of the prisoner's execution could easily be "illegal" because it was not publicly released.
My feeling is that most content -- especially written word content -- should be allowed no matter how vile the subject matter is. As AC recently said here : "I'd rather live in a world where global transparency and honesty is more important than my personal safety -- we stand a better chance of surviving the future that way."
Why exclude Funeral Homes and Cemeteries from the calculation? :-)
Indeed, as copyright is extended and extended, the pool of content created by artists who are no longer with us will be bigger than the pool created by the living. If they ever get their act together and use technology to take advantage of "The Long Tail" like Amazon has... the content industry will undoubtedly make more off of the dead than the living.
Sorry I'm so late to notice this, but I don't think anyone else has pointed it out yet: "...the effort had to be focused on somehow "protecting" works and ratcheting up infringement..."
While it may be true that the legacy content distributors have ratcheted up infringement in recent years (due to copyright extensions and clawing back from the public domain)... I believe in this sentence you mean "ratcheting up enforcement".
Google and other companies taking billions of jobs and thousands of dollars off content creator companies.
I think you mean that the jobs and dollars are shifting from one place to another. This is actually pretty common in the historical sense: industries rise and fall. I also think that the studies show that during periods of economic shrinkage (like we've seen) the first thing to go was always non-essential spending. Yet entertainment spending has kept pace. Thus, when people can afford less, they are spending more on entertainment. It is an UNPRECEDENTED time for content creators. By the way, when you said "content creator companies" I think you meant "content distribution middlemen".
Finally, about that bubble that you predict will eventually fall in on itself... The number of people NOT paying has ALWAYS been bigger than the number paying. Millions listen to the radio and a portion of them go out an buy the music. Many more people used to watch a movie on TV than pay to see the movie in a theater. Many more people read Dickens in serial form in the penny press than bought the books when they were compiled. And those newspapers and books were more widely shared -- bought once and read by many people.
Legislators undoubtedly think the way you do. "I don't see how it could possibly work." Cloning faced the same kinds of responses. Suddenly the technology is there and no one has thought about the implications. Surely it's better to do a little bit of thinking first?
Just because you (or I) can't imagine how something would be... or how things could easily get "real" enough for us to worry about it... doesn't mean that we shouldn't start thinking about how society should prepare.