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.
Thread beginning with comment 266971
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
DRM and competition?
by Almafeta on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:41 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Competition didn't create DRM. A culture that says "It's too hard for them to catch you, so you'll get away with it" created DRM...

Reply Score: 3

RE: DRM and competition?
by SReilly on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:55 in reply to "DRM and competition?"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I totally disagree. A culture of 'Milk the public for every penny and tell the artists, off of whom you are already milking the profits of they're produce, a load of bull to get them on your side.'

Basically, a culture of greed and high profit margins kept artificially high by a dieing industry unable to change it's business model for fear of losing all that 'hard earned' cash.

Also, considering the fact that the recording industry, DRMs biggest proponents, is almost completely controlled by only four corporations, I'd say it another case of not enough competition.

As NoFX put, Dinosaurs will die.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE: DRM and competition?
by butters on Thu 30th Aug 2007 17:47 in reply to "DRM and competition?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

No, a culture that says "I'll help my neighbor if it isn't too inconvenient" created DRM. It goes against human nature to horde something that isn't scarce. Sharing is a survival instinct. When I have food, I'll share it with my neighbor so that he shares his when I'm starving. The big business doesn't want us to help each other. A starving customer will pay any price (on credit, of course).

It's funny you use the word "culture". If the content industry remains on its evolutionary track, soon we won't have any discernable culture left to speak of. We'll just be worker drones that make the minimum payment on our credit cards every month. We'll have all sorts of new and fascinating social disorders. We'll worry about raising our children in a cynical, uncaring world ruled by self-righteous social Darwinists.

It's interesting that American dystopian literature is almost exclusively based around big bad government and its authoritarian social planning. We don't have to worry about that. When social planning comes to America, it will come wrapped in content and carrying ads. It's big bad media and its corporate sponsors that want to control society. Government is just there as a decoy, a dog-and-pony show to distract us from our real problems.

Competition is good. There's nothing like a handful of similarly-sized businesses vigorously competing for our dollars. But underregulated capitalism doesn't result in fair competition. It results in small and new companies having a huge disadvantage in competing with large and established companies. It also results in "competitors" forming industry alliances to fix prices and gain leverage over consumers and governments.

Don't get me wrong, America couldn't have grown to become a superpower without unbridled capitalism. But here we are, with our ridiculous per-capita GDP, and we still have an economic system tuned for explosive growth and consolidation of power. We can't keep it up any longer. We're drowning in debt.

We're not creating wealth anymore. We're just pushing it upward, and it's not trickling back down. The American economy has flatlined, running straight into a wall of finite consumer spending power. If we don't purge the beast in a controlled redistribution program, we're going to erupt, and the pus of a rotting superpower will rain down on the rest of the world.

We're drowning. If big business won't listen and our government is spineless, then we have to save ourselves by saving each other. It's the only way.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: DRM and competition?
by Almafeta on Thu 30th Aug 2007 18:25 in reply to "RE: DRM and competition?"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

A starving customer will pay any price (on credit, of course).

And here is where the key fallacy lies. You will not starve just because the Big Mean Corporation won't let you have the Bon Jovi: Yet More Remixed Oldies album for free. If they were harming you, then you might have a point, but they are not.

People have no right to other people's things. If I walked into your house and helped myself to your money, I would become a criminal; the piracy of music, video, books, and software is no different.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: DRM and competition?
by ssa2204 on Thu 30th Aug 2007 22:00 in reply to "DRM and competition?"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

This is the sanest of any thought I have seen so far. DRM is a reaction, good or bad, to a culture that simply no longer wanted to pay for anything. I really do not see the difference between when a store puts security measures in place to insure you do not walk out without paying for their product and a company that wishes to insure that you pay for their product.

One of the most baseless claims is that the music industry just did not understand technology and the ability to download music. What was at issue was people using P2P networks to download gigabytes of music they did not pay for. There is no argument that the methods they have used have been in poor taste to say the least, but the fact remains nobody is entitled to free music anymore than they are entitled to free movies.

As much as people whine, complain, bitch and moan about DRM, I have yet to hear one single REASONABLE alternative. One argument that could, and is made, is if the industries lowered their prices maybe their would be no need for DRM. Except, that basic economics would tell you that they have no reason to lower prices, the markets have spoken and people ARE willing to pay $20 for a DVD, $2 for a song, etc..

I am sorry but I really just can not get all worked up about this. If your downloaded Transformers or 300 HD DVD will not play at full HD on your Vista PC, well remember the old saying.."You get what you pay for!"

Reply Parent Score: 2