This was the one time that my lady made me spend more on video games than I otherwise would have. I was about to put down $20 but she made me put down $25. And I'd already paid for World of Goo on Steam.
Excellent, excellent thing. Everyone wins; the charities, the developers and the consumers. Plus, now I'm very likely to buy the next two games in the Penumbra series.
It also depends on *how much* of that "price per song" actually goes to somebody deserving of it.
This is a big problem for me as well. The biggest impact that the proliferation of technology is having on most entertainment related industries, is reducing the value that the publisher brings to the process. The middlemen are being steadily cut out. However, most business models haven't changed, so you've still got the publishing and recording and content delivery people getting more of every dollar spent than the actual content creator does.
I don't buy content off of iTunes, because I don't think Apple brings enough value to the content to deserve my dollars. I buy lots of content used (books, CDs, movies, video games). I will rarely, but occasionally, buy books new if I really like the author or if it's highly anticipated.
It's a variation of the "door in the face" strategy in interpersonal communication - ask for or demand something totally crazy, making a subsequent, lesser request seem more reasonable.
Not to be confused with the "foot in the door" strategy, where you make an inconsequential request of somebody; after he/she accepts, a slightly bigger request or demand is more likely to be accepted as well.
The $1.30 per song is for the convenience and reliable quality of iTunes. Apple is aiming at a price which maximizes their profit while keeping (most) people from feeling ripped off.
If you know exactly what artist or song you're looking for, it's easy enough to use the file-sharing service of your choice to grab it, but you may have to try a couple of times to get a file that doesn't suffer from slight fidelity loss or whatever. iTunes is a little easier; my fiance prefers it because it's more user-friendly and looks nicer than Limewire, and she doesn't miss the buck per song.
So that's the deal. I confidently expect the cost of a downloaded song to go down over the next few decades, but for now the market supports a $1.30 price point.
They've actually expanded quite a bit in the last ten years or so, for a total of like 14 or 15 locations throughout Boston and the surrounding area. If you live anywhere in the city, you can get it delivered.
My main beef is that they cost about 25% more than a mom-and-pop joint in the city, but they're generally worth it.
I gotta say, Domino's old pizza was pretty crappy. Also, I'm with R.Miles, Papa John's pizza is barely edible. If I have to order from a nationwide chain, Pizza Hut is best, but in Boston it's Upper Crust ftw.
Good for Misrach. He's doing it right and I hope he gets proper credit and correspondingly increased demand for his work.
As a side note, cheap and widely available digital cameras don't make good photographers. They make it more likely that people who will become good photographers have the means and opportunity to discover their talents and hone their skills, removing barriers to entry. Same thing happens with writers and the internet; not every blogger is worth reading by any stretch, but people who are good writers now have an easier time finding an audience and honing their skills (and eventually making money).
Remember when photography required costly rolls of film and you had to go to Costco or the drugstore and pay $10-$30 to get your pictures developed?
You're absolutely right that Farmville is not even remotely close to MW2 in any aspect beyond "something entertaining on the computer" - I can spend many hours playing one of Activision-Blizzard's games and barely a few minutes on Farmville or Mafia Wars. And the sophistication and artistic merits of those big-budget games are acknowledged, at least on my part, and I'm happy to buy games new if they're worthwhile to support.
The problem is that while piracy can be traced partly to the "blackbeard" torrent users who just want something for nothing, it can also be traced to attitudes and decisions of the company that released the IP. And it is way, WAY easier to change the latter than to fight the former, especially if you want to preserve the goodwill of your paying customers.
MW2 was developed as a console game, and as an ATVI stockholder, I see the logic in Bobby Kotick's choosing not to allocate a lot of time or money to the PC port. Consoles are easier to develop for and QA-test, and provide better ROI for big-budget games, and piracy is not as widespread. But as a PC gamer, I'm insulted that he chose to release a steaming pile of crap with "PC-DVD" written on it; it would have been a better decision not to release it for PC at all (also, by Bruce's logic, that would have saved them $300 mil). As it is, ATVI treated it like an afterthought, and so did their (non-)customers.
All of this makes sense, and I do not advocate artificial scarcity as a business model. Rather, I'm answering the question that you posed in your article about why people create artificial scarcity for good which are not naturally scarce. Because the people who make that decision, and continually try to enforce the status quo, benefit from the status quo. They earn, or believe they earn, more money from keeping things as-is than they would earn by letting "their" content be reproduced endlessly and freely.
With the proper business model, this is not true (a previous poster pointed out the De Beers example). You mention community as a point of difference for your content as opposed to copied content, which is viable. I probably should have referred to a hypothetical writer rather than a TechDirt writer, who doesn't have an established audience, and who really would be hurt by somebody jacking his content, to have a more easily generalizable example.
And I never said that people who create IP won't get paid without artificial scarcity - they're in a unique position to get paid more, and more easily, than anyone else if their goods are endlessly replicated (by offering add-ons like access, truly scarce physical products and momentos, concerts, etc). The people who won't get paid as much without being a lot more agile are the people who package, promote and distribute media in physical form; the people who pay the salaries of the RIAA and MPAA.
The point of my post is that those people are not mindlessly evil or totally ignorant; they have a reason for doing what they do, even if it is not viable in the long term and there are better ways to make money.
"It's a situation where you have the opposite of scarcity. You have abundance, such that there need not be any argument over ownership, because everyone can have what they want... and suddenly people want to take away the good thing (abundance!) and replace it with limits and a situation that is worse for everyone. Why would you ever do that, unless you either don't understand economics or you dislike mankind and would prefer that the world have fewer resources and more arguments over ownership."
You're talking about a pure communist society. We aren't wired that way (it'd be really cool if we were). Humans create artificial scarcity because we generally want to better our situations; make more money, have a bigger house, have cooler stuff and more of it. We tend to make rational decisions that favor our own self-interest. The people who create intellectual property would like to be paid. The people who package, promote and distribute it would like to be paid too. As much as possible.
Even writers like getting paid as much as possible, right? If somebody started copying your articles and plastering them on other sites with his or her own advertising, and search-optimized them even further so your traffic started disappearing, and making it less profitable for Techdirt to employ you, that would suck, right? Even though your intellectual property can be reproduced endlessly, it still isn't nice.
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