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Re: [d@DCC] Query: do fans object to digital watermarks?
From: "Jem" <jlists _-at-_ pc9.org>
> I dislike intensely the DRM activity of various "media" companies that > try to control where and how material may be accessed. However, I think > it may be appropriate for those of us opposed to them and who want new > business models to suggest alternatives that foster acknowledgement of > the real creators of works. Sorry for this brief reply, as I have been out of touch with the mailing list for a while. I just want to quickly touch on this business side of things by giving a historical example that I found quite interesting. Back when the media distributors were starting to get very worried indeed about copying of VIDEO over the internet they briefly investigated the feasibility of say delivering on demand video streams over the internet. I remember this very clearly, the IEEE publications in 2000/2001 discussed delivering live video and determined it just wasn't feasible to deliver gigabytes of DVD content over consumer internet lines. At the time the algorithms just were not efficient enough. So that line of business was abandoned and capital resources went instead into legal efforts. However, now four years later, developments in audio and video compression as well as advancement in residential bandwidth have made it entirely feasible to deliver high quality video over the internet to subscribers, on a pay per use basis. It is done regularly in an ad-hoc way by a lot of little guys. It is totally feasible, and a media giant could have only done it more efficiently, reliably, and more profitably if they had just been willing to embrace new technology rather than try to break it. If the large media companies had invested the capital into this kind of research, they might have been able to bring the technologies required to market quicker than hobbyists/academia ... and at the same time have set up the required infrastructure and market dominance to guarantee a reliable revenue stream, without fear of movie pirates. But they missed the opportunity to capture this new market because they did not experiment, they did not invest in research, and they decided that legal harassment was a better line of business than adapting to the internet. My point here is that there are many potential solutions even for companies (like the media giants) who think that they have been made extinct by the internet. But they have to jump on these avenues instead of investing all their resources in lobbying and legal action. DRM is technologically senseless in the long term and they probably know it. I do not know what the answer is for the big guys and frankly I don't care. They can innovate and adapt, or they can die. For other artists, the solution is probably for artists big and small across the country to unite, centralize their small record labels into one coordinated marketing and distribution effort. They won't have the huge overhead of dealing with the big labels that rip them off and consumers will still be able to find them. Such a coordinated effort that cuts out the big labels, which really just steal most of the money, means more profits can go to artists while also lowering the cost of the product to the consumer. When the product cost gets low enough and convenient enough, a consumer is going to prefer paying for high quality media plus some (intangible?) benefits rather than copying from a friend. My belief is that once the business side is implemented properly, the problem of "illegal copying" will turn out to not be an issue at all, just side noise. I think these efforts to control and restrict digital copying are a very poor solution to the wrong problem. _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing list Discuss@list.digital-copyright.ca http://list.digital-copyright.ca/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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