...for selling actual books. I'm convinced that the entire Kindle existence is a beautifully effective marketing strategy to show people how DRM and copyright issues will always make real books printed on actual paper far more valuable.
And selling books was the original goal at Amazon, right? They've certainly convinced me to purchase only ink and paper.
And it is Michael Masnick. Time and time again, you refute the ridiculous, and nearly without exception, I agree with you 100%. Today is no exception. The inability of established players in today's business world to grasp the fact that new business models exist, and must be embraced, is stunning in its regularity. Excellent job, Mike, on continuing to call out those who cannot seem to grasp the fact that the world changed.
...I cannot figure out why so many people argue with you about this, Michael. I point to your articles regularly in my discussions with people about the emerging markets and business models within the music industry, and all of this is just simple, high-school level basic economics.
The music is the marketing for the product. The product is the concert, the t-shirt, the collectors edition album, the poster, and anything else that the band can sell which won't be digitally infinitely reproducible.
...but this feels eerily similar to conversations about the business model changes going on in the energy sector. Over there, every one is looking for the *ONE* thing that is going to replace oil, and are slowly learning that the oil economy is going to be replaced by a multitude of energy sources, not just one like we're used to.
And the parallels to the music industry are striking in this respect. Everyone is looking for the *ONE* replacement for the old (and now broken) business model of the RIAA, but the reality is that there will be many, many smaller business models that begin to make up a new music industry.
And in both of these examples, the end result will be positive for the whole community and allow for greater opportunity, even though it will prove to be painful for the current heavyweights whose business model is no longer relevant.
And when advertisers realize that content=advertising when done correctly, it will continue to open even more possibilities for business models that went unexplored before.
Michael, I generally agree whole-heartedly with nearly everything that you post here on Techdirt, and subscribed to the feed in large part due to your efforts. But on this one, I think you missed the larger story, which mike and Jpong touched on in their posts.
The interesting thing about this uproar over Dr. Horrible isn't that somebody created content for the internet, it's that 'professional Hollywood people' created GREAT content specifically for the internet. Most content created for the internet so far has either been A) replayed from TV skits, B) not professionally done with this type of budget and professionalism, and/or C) not really that great. This content meets all 3 criteria, and that's really where the WOW factor comes in.
The rest of the story lies in the economic model, and whether we can look forward to seeing more of this type of production. Is Whedon able to make money on this? Or even leverage the exposure to create another business venture that makes money? If not, Dr. Horrible may sound the death toll for great, professional, internet-only content for quite a while longer...
It's simply jaw-droppingly astonishing to me how many well-educated people cannot seem to grasp the basic economic forces behind zero-marginal cost duplication and distribution. This is not an argument about morality or law in any way. It is a basic economic reality that isn't affected by laws or concerns for the content producer.
That being said, this is one of the best explainations of the new digital economy and how business models need to change that I've ever read. Nicely done, and I hope more content producers will read and understand your points here, for their own sake.
Isn't this the sort of sensible patent decision that you should be lauding and writing happily about? I know that when the USPTO makes bad decisions, Techdirt certainly doesn't hesitate to give your own point of view about the judgement that they handed down. How about a little golf clap for some intelligent thought coming from the patent office for once?
I'm certainly not complaining about Techdirt sounding off when bad policy and decisions come across the wire. In fact, it's the reason I read. But I would expect a little more of a commentary on a decision like this, or at least more than a verbatim quote from someone else masquerading as a blog post.
Your article has no links to this mysterious coverage map. The article you link to has no link to this mysterious coverage map. T-mobile's and Cingular's sites have no link to this mysterious coverage map (that I can find.) I hereby call shenanigans until I see this mysterious coverage map.
A thousand salutes for writing down intelligently what I've been thinking for months. The music industry is in the business of distribution, but distribution is now essentially free. Musicians are far more likely to earn a little bit of money on what they create now (through online sales or other avenues), rather than the hit-or-miss game of superstardom that makes a very, very small minority incredibly rich. Since the process of making music is also quite inexpensive, this allows us all to make, share, and enjoy music as a 'community', rather than as a 'consumer.' The problem starts when we begin to apply this distribution model to films. Films are NOT cheap to make. Incredible investment is needed in even the most basic low-budget dreck, and profits must be realized. Once P2P speeds begin to allow the same file-sharing ease that MP3 currently enjoys, we run the very real risk of crippling the industry that produces our content. I, for one, am already contributing to the problem on the netflix/DVD burner plan, and my ranks are growing. The music industry will survive, albeit greatly changed, as DangerMouse says. I agree this is inevitable. Is the wholesale dismantling of the movie industry far behind? How can that industry continue based on the same model?
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