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Torkington on what technologists "owe" the entertainment industry

2012-01-24 16:22:43.674844+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Nat Torkington: The President's challenge: What more does government want — or deserve — from the tech world?

In the wake of SOPA/PIPA, a statement from the Whitehouse says:

Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders. We should all be committed to working with all interested constituencies to develop new legal tools to protect global intellectual property rights without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet. Our hope is that you will bring enthusiasm and know-how to this important challenge.

To which Torkington responds:

All I can think is: we gave you the Internet. We gave you the Web. We gave you MP3 and MP4. We gave you e-commerce, micropayments, PayPal, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, the iPad, the iPhone, the laptop, 3G, wifi--hell, you can even get online while you're on an AIRPLANE. What the hell more do you want from us?

[ related topics: Books Civil Liberties Art & Culture Currency Net Culture Race Archival Aviation moron Free Speech iPhone Real Estate Invention and Design Music Work, productivity and environment Law ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-24 21:31:39.417885+00 by: ebradway

I think it's pretty clear to almost everyone, except the RIAA and MPAA and possibly Microsoft, that the current model for IP is broken. Any information that can be digitized will not persist in "false scarcity". Unfortunately, there is no way to correct the problems with IP without the RIAA and MPAA changing their business models. Any business model that is based on maintaining a false scarcity will fail. Jobs may be lost. But no one every really laments the unemployed farriers. Instead, Ford is applauded for revolutionizing industry and transportation.

I see the same thing happening with books. Many book retailers see Amazon as the evil. The real problem is Amazon is just acting as a conduit for the reduced scarcity of digital books. The irony is that Amazon is trying hard to make sure physical media are still available too. Amazon CreateSpace is one of the cheapest print on demand providers I've found. Asha's cookbook that we gave Dan costs $25 to have Lulu.com print. We can get an acceptable version from CreateSpace for $8. Those are both one-off runs of full-color 100 page, perfect- bound books with zero setup costs.

I do lament for the independent bookstore. There is a real scarcity there as well as a real value. Having a curated selection of books in a physical space where I can meet other people with similar interest is hugely valuable. Perhaps the future is some kind of paid curation status on Amazon plus Meetups?

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-25 13:16:00.608528+00 by: andylyke

Maybe the film industry owes us more than 1 in 50 watchable movies!

#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-25 15:10:05.29204+00 by: ebradway

Back in the hey-day of Napster and similar, the fact that I could download a movie and watch it a couple times made me more likely to spend the $10 to see it in the theater. By watching at home, I was able to get invested in the story and decide that the visuals were worth the added expense. I get really annoyed when I either miss a movie I wanted to see on the big screen because I was busy or find out when it comes out on DVD that it would have been good to see on the big screen.

There is a potential model for movie distribution that incorporates both the theater experience and digital downloads. I would love to by able to pay $6.99 to stream a movie that's currently running in the theater. Or maybe pay $9.99 and get a buck or two off the movie ticket price. Once the movie was out of the theaters, the streaming price should drop to $2.99 or less.

Andy: Stephen Simon and crew at Spiritual Cinema Circle do a great job of providing a curated collection of movies and shorts. Of course the price is hard to swallow relative to Netflix and Redbox. But a lot of what SCC distributes isn't available elsewhere and it's always worth watching.