Same here, although I would start asking questions about why they're so interested in what an employee gets up to outside of their professional life, and ask what methods they used before social media. I would however advise them that I wouldn't be interested in working for a company that so clearly doesn't trust its employees.
The privilege of being in a steady career and having gone through my young adult years pre-social media, I suppose. I feel sorry for anyone who is desperate enough for a job that they submit to such privacy invasion willingly.
That's the real issue here. The industry is trying to keep hold of a business model that worked, without paying attention to the fact that it was based on market realities that no longer exist.
Windowing was always common at the theatrical level due to limited numbers of prints, new versions having to be created for each region, etc. Bulky, heavy VHS tapes that didn't work across regions due to quirks of local TV standards? Fine, while it could be frustrating to not get a movie for a couple of years in the UK after its US release, most people knew the issues and weren't going to investing in a special NTSC VCR to play on their PAL TV with a bunch of messing around.
DVD? The same things applied, although the lack of compatibility became less of an issue as most players and TVs eventually supported all formats. The industry tried artificially retaining their local monopolies via region codes, but even they seemed to understand this wasn't going to work long term (witness them going from 6 regions on DVD to just 3 on Blu Ray, with some studios not putting a region code on their Blus at all). Now, of course, it's 100% artificial with any restriction. There's no technical reason why I can't stream from Australia instead of the UK if that's where the film I want to access is located.
But, the restrictions on the front end were only part of it. Due to the regional nature of theatrical and early home viewing, the back end business was split up into countries, and distribution often happened by selling to each of these regions. This is where the disconnect lies. They built their business model around being able to dictate when and where something is accessible, while their customers have come to expect few to zero borders.
Their response to this, rather than streamline the backend to adjust to modern reality, is to move the frontend to restrict the consumer more than ever before. Even in the laserdisc and VHS days, a dedicated consumer could import from another region. Now, they're trying to block even that. It will fail, but not before we';ve heard some more years of whining from people who just wish it was still the 80s.
You're using the term free market, but it doesn't really count unless you understand what the words mean and use them appropriately.
A free market means that there are no restrictions on who can buy and sell an item. The competition between buyers and between sellers allows the market to set the value of the item based on an equillibrium of supply and demand.
I am very keen on a free market - including the freedom to choose when and where to sell or market a product.
You're confusing free market with global/local market concepts. You can have a free local market (which isn't actually free because copyright and lack of second sale, but whatever, that's a compromise we currently live with) and a non-free global market. And localised release windows are only possible with a non-free global market, kind of by definition.
If people don't like they choice, they don't have to enjoy the product. They could create their own and distribute them in any manner they see fit. That's the beauty of a free market.
I make these lovely tables, but I only sell them to Scottish people who have lived for less than three years in the British isles, and they have to sign a contract affirming that they may never sell the table to anyone else or else ownership reverts to me. But I'm not forcing anyone to buy these tables, they're free to create their own and distribute them in any manner they see fit. Free market, yay! Yeah, no.
The stepped release concept is in some part to release a film or whatever in the best paying market first, so that they can (like all good business should) extract as much profit as possible for their shareholders and owners. Releasing a product into lower dollar markets first would just support the natural flow from low cost to high cost centers, handing (diminished) profits to others.
And that made sense in the '80s. Why not just release it TO THE WORLD at the higher price, then step the price down as you'd normally release to wider, lower cost, markets? You know, live in the 21st century and reap all the same benefits as your legacy business model with all the same advantages of a global marketplace? I mean, really?
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Have you ever been in San Francisco? It's one of the most densely-populated cities in the US. There's just not any free space here to build new housing, for the most part. Almost anything you build will require tearing something else down.
But I do agree in part - the government could have been more aggressive about building residential housing. Even now after anyone with two brain cells to rub together can figure out we have a housing shortage, they keep approving these large projects where they only require something trivial like 10% of the total to be affordable or "market rate" units. (Which in SF means "exorbitant".)
I suppose you've never witnessed a place which has gone from a decent place to live to a dangerous, crime-ridden slum, eh?
"Increasing property values" is often just a codeword for "making our communities more pleasant and desirable". Nothing wrong with that. You can't increase the general appeal of anything in this world without increasing its perceived value.
That said, the property values in SF are ridiculous. But that's mostly down to poor urban planning and an addiction to property tax inflation.
San Francisco could stop real-estate speculation dead in its tracks by simply imposing a substantial transfer fee on real-estate properties, particularly for short-term ownership. But they are too addicted to the property tax inflation.
So now we have a city where workers increasingly can't afford to live, which in the long run will undermine diversity (it already has) and, despite what the wealthy think, undermine the quality of the city as a whole.
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AirBnB, like the majority of the trendy and ironically-named "sharing economy" companies, is just another opportunist carpetbagger looking for regulatory loopholes they can exploit to make boatloads of money.
The PROBLEM in San Francisco - where I happen to have lived for many decades - is that real estate and rental prices are ridiculous - the highest in the USA. We have a huge shortage of rental property here, and AirBnB greatly exacerbates the problem by allowing people to essentially act like hoteliers without any of the traditional legal obligations that innkeepers and hoteliers have had to comply with, yanno, for dumb reasons like protecting the health and welfare of their boarders and the community around them. (Just like the rest of the "sharing economy" companies have turned their workers into powerless serfs while destroying the business of companies that actually pay their workers a living wage)
AirBnB also didn't like it very much when a study was released recently that demonstrated what many of us had been saying all along: the majority of AirBnB properties in SF had essentially become nearly full-time businesses rather than poor little Joe Sixpack trying to earn an occasional extra dollar to help pay for his kid's Pampers. In short, it's just another way to make an end-run around ordinances designed to protect the public, in order to make a quick buck. (And in the process - in this city - keeping even more residents from being able to find affordable housing)
SF had been giving AirBnB a pass for too long, this was the FIRST time a rule had been voted-in to put them on a tighter noose.
These companies could just accept reality and stop thinking that they are an endless money-printing machine and accept that their business will have a limited scale in order to not create economic and social chaos. But they are too self-righteous and drunk with eager VC money to get a grip on that reality.