On Piracy, Business Models, and Game of Thrones

Submitted by Jon on Sun, 06/03/2012 - 09:00

Over at FastCompany, Robert Levine writes that pirating Game of Thrones is a direct attack on this emerging genre of actually good TV shows, and those of us who would pirate it are simply being un-supportive of this business model:

The idea that HBO’s exclusivity amounts to an outrage seems silly, since it essentially amounts to commerce: If you want it, you have to pay for it. Obviously, HBO sets its own terms--it sells content by the month, not the episode--but so does every other company, in some way. Beer isn’t sold in five-packs. And, of course, Thrones is available on iTunes a year after it airs. (I waited to buy it and I’ve managed to lead a fulfilling life.)


Submitted by Jon on Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:27

Look. I'm going on vacation tomorrow. I have promised myself to keep my stress levels down, so this is as much as you'll hear from me about SOPA - those in favor of being able to randomly block any site have thus far not shown anything beyond a mindless, selfish, shortsighted and childish desire to make the Internet bend to their will. The Internet works because it bends to no one private interest, and serves us all.

They're not even letting opposing viewpoints testify at the Congressional hearing: If this is how they think Democracy should work, I'd hate to see how they want to re-create the Internet.


Campbell's Soup Exec Writes to Andy Warhol

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 19:58

Normally, this letter would be a legal threat

DVR is TV's New BFF (why can't big entertainment learn?)

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 20:04

Everything old is new again: VCRs == DVRs

Cory Doctorow, or how I learned to start worrying and hate IP regulation

Submitted by Jon on Sun, 03/15/2009 - 12:01

Sometimes, I lie awake at night and worry about copyright. I then start worrying if this makes me irreconcilably weird.

I worry both for our American culture, as items have stopped falling into the public domain and becoming available to re-use and re-mix, or simply to re-present for free. If this doesn't seem like a problem, this video on a 6-second drumbeat will blow your mind - especially if you then read this story about an artist being sued for a 1 minute clip of silence making fun of John Cage's 4'33" of silence. The artist ended up settling out of court.

I worry more generally about international trade and development, as we inflict ever-tighter IP regulations on countries we give aid to or trade with - regulations which we scoffed and flouted during our own development.

We're no longer protecting innovation with these laws - we're protecting the first movers (often big, established businesses), and encouraging gaming the patent system to try and get the most generic and sweeping patent accepted.

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