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John Smith's profile photoYohannon Hadden's profile photoTerry Hancock's profile photoRichard Bensam's profile photo
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Myth: I'm losing money because people can get the content I produced for free online.

Reality: people largely don't want to, and will not, pay for access to your content. If they can't get it for free, they'll do without, and consume other content instead, that they can get for free. If your business model depends on limiting access to your content, you need a new business model.
 
I love South Park. But if I go out and buy Futurama Season 6 (when it comes out) instead of South Park Season 15, does that mean that I'm taking money away from South Park? Am I costing someone their job because I didn't buy both? No, it means I'm broke and can't afford both. I can't afford the thousands of dollars you seem to think you're losing from every single person in the US.
 
+Lalo Martins: Amen, sir. That's been a point made by the "anti-piracy" crowd for years, leading to breathlessly reported industry specced headlines of "Piracy Costs the Software Industry a Bazillion Dollars a Year!" based on the full retail cost of the ESTIMATED number of downloads. My favorite was Microsoft Office -- as if people, prevented from downloading the trojan infected version of the suite for free, would suddenly spend 500 bucks on a legit version.

No, they would download open office and be done with it. Or they would find cheaper alternatives (they DO exist).

This holds true for video and music as well, and (in many cases) the pirated material is just not available anywhere else (for years it was impossible to find certain movies and audio recordings otherwise!).

I wrote a column years ago making the case that companies spend more on DRM and anti-piracy (and lobbying efforts to legislate both) than what the piracy really costs them. Nothing I see today changes that opinion.
 
It seems like every single day there's some new illustration of Upton Sinclair's line about "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it" but the original of this video is one of the all-time classics. Every single person interviewed here is so dependent on the Viacom Way of Business continuing that they literally cannot see the illogic in what they've been told to say.
 
+Richard Bensam: Another excellent point. I was thinking along similar lines, only using the old story of the old Tiger repellant salesman gag, where a door-to-door huckster is attempting to sell his product in Kansas. When an incredulous farmer points out that there are no tigers in Kansas, the salesman exclaims "See? It works!".

Examples of the strength of the open trading model exist. The Greatful Dead are a classic example -- they allowed audience members to tape and trade their shows, and somehow that band was consistently one of the highest money makers playing.

I recall a quote by some industry wonk a few years back complaining about Internet radio stations, that they weren't about to make the same "mistake" they (the music publishers) made with radio -- that they didn't want to "subsidize" Internet radio. I was dumb-founded. Gobsmacked, even. There was this complete disconnect between the idea that they can't sell what people aren't aware of, and killing the new net radio format. There's a point where too much control kills your profit stream, guys... See Aesop re: Goose Laying Golden Eggs.
 
It was creepy watching that -- even with the annotations.

While PIPA/SOPA may (or may not) help the legacy entertainment business, they are a clear threat to free culture / new media business models which rely on an open internet to connect artists and fans.
 
Roughly paraphrasing one of the 'interviewees.' "It's frustrating to know that work I created is being used to somebody else's advantage." How many of these people use WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Tumblr, Google apps..the list goes on. I daresay the majority of developers and testers of these open source core platforms are not making 'millions.' Let alone get any appreciation. If they do, THEY deserve it. They are creating systems that enable others to create, use, and even make a buck or 5 by developing plugins and apps that work with the core systems. Viacom, not so much.
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