The full article is a bit wordy, and manages to avoid lecturing about how the media industry failed at “service” when it came to view tapes and DVDs, how they objected even those turned out to be immensely profitable. We all know that and we all know that despite the opportunity for profits that just about everyone else in the world seems able to cash in on, the RIAA etc seem to want to shut it down.
Well if they did there would be outcries not from all the people who had minor copyright infringements from quoting one another, but from all the businesses that were loosing customers, not just from direct action but from the word-of-mouth style propagation, reviews, snippets that had nothing to do with them but caused shut-downs and lockouts. A ripple effect. The Laws of Unintended Consequences doing what it always does, biting in the ass.
Yes, if the media industry provided the service that customers want piracy wouldn’t be an issue. As the article says, look at the economics.
It’s not a physical product that’s being taken. There’s nothing going missing, which is generally the hallmark of any good theft.
There’s a corollary to that: if the media companies were selling on the net their cost of reproduction is zero. They can sell the same movie hundreds of times over and it doesn’t cost them any more.
With VHS and DVD there is the cost of production, shipping and retail mark-up. There’s that for every sale. And those are costs that are going up year by year. And if there’s a mistake in estimates about volume then either there are lost sales for lack of product, or waste as it gets remaindered.
But with a ‘Net based distribution scheme there is only the cost of storage and bandwidth, and those are going down.
Its as if the RIAA have it exactly backwards.
So it costs, what, lets say $20 to buy a movie as a DVD.
That’s my budget. If I got to the store and found the movie I wanted was $5, then I’d be inclined to buy some more. Maybe at $5 a shot I’d spend more than $20 as I found other movies that I marginally considered. Now suppose that I didn’t have to drive to the store? Many people I know buy more books at Amazon than they ever did in a bricks-and-mortar store. many bricks-and-mortar bookstores are shutting down. Lower the cost of a movie to $1 and make it available on the ‘Net, mail buyers about new releases and packages the way Amazon does and there will be more impulse buying. See low-res, high-res and super-high res/HD, alternate endings, have consumers write reviews … you know how it goes, Amazon does it well.
Amazon have shifted from selling books to selling e-books. No more packaging, inventory or shipping. Instant gratification.
The RIAA are not just stupid, they are extremely stupid.
- A Peek at a Few Trends (laf.ee)
- Software piracy in Canada exceeded $1.1B in 2011 (ctv.ca)
- What’s the true cost of piracy? (infographic) (venturebeat.com)
- US mistakenly seizes a music domain – and holds it for 18 months (art2science.org)
- Study: BitTorrent music piracy increases album sales (electronista.com)