Linked by Kroc on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:03 UTC
Editorial I hear often that when something new appears that "competition is good". The primary reasons competition is seen as good, are: it drives down prices; it gives consumers more choice; it pushes technology forward, quicker. Competition is not good because: competition is why consumers have to choose between HD-DVD and BluRay; competition is why DRM exists; and more. In this article, each of the supposed benefits of competition will be looked at in more detail.
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by Flatland_Spider on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:47 UTC
Flatland_Spider
Member since:
2006-09-01

The economic principal underneath all of this is getting misconstrued, actually it's not a principal it's a cycle.

The way it works is that in the beginning there are many disparate standards and products. Eventually one standard comes out dominant due to consumer preference, not due to technical merits most of the time. Once the dominant platform is established everyone starts cloning the most successful product creating a standard.

To poke more holes in the article. GNU/Linux is a great example of competition. Everyone comes up with a distro with different ideas, and different ideas battle it out to see which one is the best solution. Gnome vs KDE. Apt vs RPM vs Source.

To address the DRM issue. DRM was invented and pushed onto consumers by the entertainment industry. There wasn't any input from other parties. There hasn't been competition in the music industry in a long time. There isn't a monopoly, but there are only five corporations that exist in that field. Those five a very tight knit and regularly collude with each other.

The competition with DRM is DRM free media hosted on P2P networks, and to date the entertainment companies have only been able to slow down filesharing not eliminate it. Now they are realizing what consumers want, and there are going to be experiments to see how well consumers like unencumbered media.

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