Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Feb 2012 00:13 UTC
In the News "Like any space opera, the story of information technology is a very simple one. It is played out in a myriad of different ways by a revolving cast of characters, but it always has its loveable heroes, its predictably nefarious villains, innocent civilians to be saved, and bumbling bureaucrats that aren't inherently evil, but begin every story aiding the forces of darkness out of a misplaced belief they are preserving law and order in their corner of the galaxy." He might use Star Wars as an analogy (I strongly dislike Star Wars - Trekkie here), but it sums up very well how I feel about computing today.
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RE: A little over-dramatic
by Valhalla on Fri 10th Feb 2012 02:28 UTC in reply to "A little over-dramatic"
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

or the death of the entire content industry.

I assume you mean the death of huge companies
who charge artists the lionshare of the profits in order to distribute the artists work through means of artificial scarcity. I say YES please!

If these behemoths die from piracy my prediction is that artists/content creators will make more money by going directly to the audience. We see this now with a huge boom in the indie sectors, with gaming perhaps being the strongest example.

when they know it's going to be passed around freely, like candy.

Free candy!

but people who made a living off of it will probably find themselves needing a new career.

I disagree, there will always be people who find content worth paying for if the price is within their means, and with the internet as your market place not only do you have practically zero-cost distribution but also the ability to reach potential customers on a fully global scale.

And when the need for the middlemen disappears so does the inflated prices which in turn leads to less incentive for people to pirate.

From everything I've read concerning the profits which eventually trickle down to the actual artists through the old model of middlemen, they will make much more money per copy selling their works for $0.99 online directly to the customer then they would through aforementioned middlemen unless they are established superstars and thereby have been able to negotiate a much better deal.

In my opinion internet is the great 'leveler' of our society, and I think/hope this is something not only the big content barons will learn the hard way.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: A little over-dramatic
by WorknMan on Fri 10th Feb 2012 03:15 in reply to "RE: A little over-dramatic"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I disagree, there will always be people who find content worth paying for if the price is within their means


Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaah... we'll have to agree to disagree on that. Once the entertainment industry dies and there's nobody to put the smackdown on people pirating, how many 'honest' people out there do you think will be willing to pay for content? Maybe there will be enough to keep the artists/directors/writers/etc afloat, but I have my doubts. Hell, people in the US (who don't have ANY excuses) are pirating $1 Android and iOS apps, so what does that tell you?

Of course, you can point out some success stories like Louis CK, but that's kind of a novelty right now, and once that kind of thing becomes commonplace (where content creators are begging for cash every time you turn around), it's going to get very old, very fast. I suppose you could ask open source developers and others who have a 'donate' button on their site how much cash they get from their users. That might be a good indicator. Do they make enough to survive on? And would it be worth doing it full time, if all you're getting is chump change?

All I'm saying is that once these 'robber barons' go away and content creators are left at the mercy of the kindness of people's hearts, it may end up where people just stop trying to make money creating content because of the rampant piracy, unless they can come up with a way to force people to pay. This is a very real possibility.

As for Spotify and its ilk, check this out:
http://www.nme.com/news/architects/58551

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: A little over-dramatic
by Valhalla on Fri 10th Feb 2012 04:44 in reply to "RE[2]: A little over-dramatic"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Once the entertainment industry dies and there's nobody to put the smackdown on people pirating,

What smackdown are you referring to?

Hell, people in the US (who don't have ANY excuses) are pirating $1 Android and iOS apps, so what does that tell you?

I'd say the fact that that despite anti-piracy measures being totally ineffective and prices in general inflated due to middlemen wanting their cut there's still a large market of people out there willing to pay for these things which are in reality easy and pretty much risk-free to pirate, then there's every reason to think that with prices slashed due to the elimination of middlemen and the possibility of having the whole world as your market we will see a much better overall situation for those who want to live of their artistry.

See 'pay what you want' successes like the humble bundles, or how we are seeing the rise of crowdfunded projects, there are people out there willing to pay for things they enjoy and that they want others to begin/continue creating.

Likely we won't have the obscenely wealthy superstars like Micheal Jackson, Madonna etc (oh no!) but I think a much larger amount and range of artists will be able to live comfortably off their creations than what was possible under the rule of all-empowered labels who held all the cards by being the gatekeepers you needed to sell yourself to before you had any chance of reaching your intended audience.

We obviously differ in opinion here and it will be interesting to see what the future holds. And obviously the 'content barons' aren't about to give up their (increasingly irrelevant) spot in the ecosystem without a fight and their SOPA attempt was just a small part of their ongoing effort I fear.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: A little over-dramatic
by ericxjo on Fri 10th Feb 2012 19:49 in reply to "RE[2]: A little over-dramatic"
ericxjo Member since:
2012-02-10

The "dystopia" you are referring to, where people can download almost anything with little likelihood of any consequence is exactly the way it is now. And yet, thriving, fully-licensed DRM-free stores full of digital music and movies are doing just fine. The "smackdown" is like, what, three people? Up to now the "smackdown" has mostly been judges smacking down copyright trolling lawyers for ignoring law and procedure and trying to build an empire off of "John Does" who turn out to be people some of which have no idea what "filesharing" is.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: A little over-dramatic
by siride on Sat 11th Feb 2012 22:27 in reply to "RE[2]: A little over-dramatic"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm usually not a "free market will solve everything" kind of person, but in this case, I think it will. If content creators stop creating content, then content will become scarce and thus worth more. People will be willing to pay for it because they won't get it otherwise. We might have a lot less content, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Only the people that really care and are really talented will still produce content and people will no longer consume content as if it is a nearly worthless resource.

Reply Parent Score: 2