The present and future of post production business and technology

Hey, Movie And TV People, Here’s how to avoid becoming Apple’s Lunch

Hey, Movie And TV People, Here’s How To Avoid Becoming Apple’s Lunch

Wise words from Matt Rosoff at SAI Business Insider:

O’Reilly took the mike for the first question, and made the point that the recording industry blew it in the early days by not offering its content in a convenient digital format for a price that consumers were willing to accept. As a consequence, piracy took off, and Apple’s deal was the best bargain that the industry could get. He suggested that the film and TV industries are making the same mistake now by withholding content from new digital platforms like Google TV and Netflix streaming.

Here, Emanuel got hot under the collar and insisted that piracy is wrong and shouldn’t be considered when making business decisions. Instead, he suggested that the government and industry needed to do more work to educate consumers about stealing content and to enforce existing laws.

Emanuel’s right. Content has value. The problem is, once content is digitized, it’s trivially easy to copy it. And every copy protection scheme will eventually be broken. (Cory Doctorow did a great job explaining why this is true way back in 2004–basically, you can’t encrypt content against the people who you’re also supposed to be delivering it to.)

This is isn’t a moral argument. It’s a physical argument. Arguing against the piracy of digital content is like arguing against gravity. Or death.

Essentially he makes the same argument that other make: you can’t sell abundance (digital goods that can be reproduced infinitely at little cost, but you can use that abundance to sell scarcity. Or you can focus on events that have immediacy. Immediacy is a scarcity that you can sell and sports or other live events are a great example.