When I was an MIS department manager putting together the IT infrastructure of a Yellow Pages directory competitor I purchased the postal code database from Canada Post to build our database with. I guess 20 years ago they didn't think there was any competition to them and encouraging the use of postal codes saved them enormous sorting overheads. Now, instead of adapting and improving they are going the MPAA/RIAA route to squash anything seen as infringing on total control.
This is why I get all my mail by email, pay online, and send or get everything else FedEx/UPS.
P.S.- We got sued by Yellow pages on the grounds we infringed on the phone company's copyright on the numbers - the judge tossed it out.
True, if the public starts sharing postal code information with each other without paying then its value will be removed. A method has to be in place to guarantee that the creator (Canada Post) can be sure that when the copyright material is used it was paid for. I suggest users be forced into buying a coupon to affix to any materials using a Canada Post postal code. Placing the coupon (a small piece of paper printed with a unique design and having an adhesive backing) will designate a postal code on the same media (envelope/postcard) as being a paid for intellectual property and the coupon can be cancelled prior to the other party receiving the postal code by voiding the coupon with an ink mark.
It's simple - so why hasn't Canada Post done this yet?
The more I hear about bureaucrats the more I like my cave on Mars.
Sunk cost is simply money spent. It is usually not recoverable but may be and can be a gain if the asset purchased is resold at a profit. The key concept is not to use sunk costs as a major or only factor in making future business decisions.
If I purchase a delivery truck and lease storage space for a past effort in making profit and a future opportunity that can make money needs neither of these I should not reject the opportunity due to sunk costs. At the same time if I find the truck and storage idea losing money and there is no foreseeable chance of it I should not continue just because the money was spent.
Just because the studios have huge investments in studios and CD/DVD manufacturing and distribution and traditional advertising and radio stations doesn't mean that is the only way music and other media should be promoted and distributed and does not make the political lobbying for protectionist laws against new technology and rejection of new ideas correct.
My daughter records gospel music with her band and distributes it in the exact manner I describe. They tried using a label's studio in Nashville - the engineer accidentally erased 12 hours of tracks and they still had to pay for the time.
You must be with a label, your the one without a notion of what is being done out there.
Sunk costs are past costs that can not be completely recovered. An example is rent for office space already spent in the past.
Fixed costs are those that do not vary in relation to the rate of production. An example is lighting costs for that office space.
Marginal or variable costs change in relation to the amount, rate, and method of production.
The point that is repeatedly made (and often ignored or argues against) is that music is produced for a very low marginal, fixed, and sunk cost. In fact, the cost is so low for real sunk and fixed costs in comparison to the potential cash flow from distribution of unlimited virtual goods (internet distributed music) that sunk and fixed costs can be ignored.
However, the music labels are themselves the fixed and sunk costs used by music labels to justify music labels' price and expense charges.
A band only needs the instruments they currently own and a couple of computers and software, a sound conditioned room and maybe a little extra sound equipment to record an album. Distribution can be handled through leasing a web server and setting up a online store.
Anyone can do it.
The huge fixed costs the RIAA lobbies to cover are the record labels themselves, which are no longer necessary, and nothing else.
I was perusing the CD aisle at Walmart last week and noticed a fairly big 70's band's album was $23.99 The sunk cost has still not been recovered after over 30 million sales and nearly 40 years?
With the accounting rules the entertainment industry can legally utilize (and would get a book keeper in any other line imprisoned) a record could cost $100M. Hookers and blow are not free nor are private jet rips to Aruba for "meetings" (more call girls and snot dust - but warmer).
Seriously, this is why bands like Radiohead do not publish through labels.
If the labels could get it through their heads that they have to provide a service of value to remain relevant to the music industry instead of resorting to creating bands that they control (and almost always suck) they might have a chance.
Personally I think they will go the way of the ice industry at the start of the twentieth century after commercial electrically powered refrigeration was developed.
I'm not so sure any person will be convicted of any crime. The US system is designed to allow almost any activity by a corporation with no consequences to those in charge.
A good example is General Electric's long history of bribes, fraud, and corruption including the Pittsfield operation's 40 years of dumping an estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million pounds of PCB-saturated insulating oil into the Hudson river. No one individual has been convicted, jailed, or fined for anything.