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Old 05-04-2010, 06:50 AM   #1
kennyc
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The Freeloaders

Article on piracy in The Atlantic this month:

The Freeloaders

How a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment...

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...eeloaders/8027
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:25 AM   #2
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Interesting, thank you.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Article on piracy in The Atlantic this month:

How a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment...
Or not...

Quote:
Maybe something better is coming, even as the transition racks the nerves of writers and artists.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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I figured we hadn't had a good piracy thread in a few days, so.....
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
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I figured we hadn't had a good piracy thread in a few days, so.....
Arrrrr. Students (and young people in general) listening to music without paying for it is hardly new, it is just easier to spot and therefore monitor now that it is online.

In my day, someone bought an LP, and all their friends would tape it. No big deal, you bought what you could afford and taped the rest. The bands understood that, because they were all doing it themselves in their day.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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Maybe it’s time to admit that we may never find a way to reconcile consumers who want free entertainment with creators who want to get paid.
It's not like that's a *new* problem. It goes back to when storytellers sat around the marketplace with a bowl and yelled off anyone who listened in too closely without paying.
Quote:
Can the market evolve fast enough to keep up with the expectations, and predations, of Generation Free?
Well, not if the media companies spend their resources trying to patch leaks instead of getting out of the boat business & moving to airplanes. Or whatever the new revenue system is best metaphorized as.
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Generation X, of which I am a member, was probably the last to grow up with the Top 40 and only a few TV stations—and the kind of common taste that this structure instilled.
And *that's* a big part of the situation that most media companies are ignoring. Top 40 bands are no longer competing with just other Top 40 bands; they're competing with garage bands with a cool MySpace page. Random House authors aren't competing with Macmillan authors; they're also competing with Samhain Press authors, and Smashwords authors, and Wordpress bloggers.

We don't have the shared culture that used to allow companies to count on a certain level of sales for any product they released that connected to that culture. And we have a *lot* of talented amateurs, in every creative field, who now have the resources (if not always the skills) to get their content out to people who are interested in it.

The media companies (and to some extent, content producers) need to stop fretting about unauthorized, unpaid copies, and worry about how to convince the people who've never heard of their products to buy them.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
Ken Maltby
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What I find troubleing is that there is a fear of publishing in a cheaper format as a
use of the free market "mass marketing" concept. There is a price point where they
can make more money from a low cost, low price, mass sales approach than from
marketing and pricing for low volume and scarce supply relative to a demand.

Of course it only makes matters worse when they add in the costs of measures that
attempt to counter the inevitable breaking of their artificial limitation of the supply.

I believe that they could easily provide e-books at a volume and cost to price that
would make for a decent profit to all involuved. A good enough e-book for $5 and a
great/high demand e-book for $10, would mean a much greater volume of sales and
very little profit for any pirates. Most would gladly pay such prices and never look to
any of the questionable sources.

My 2 cents worth.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:52 PM   #8
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I too am a gen-x member and though I grew up with the top-40 my music taste is pretty different from most. Pandora has made this even more eclectic since it exposes me to artists based on their algorithmic view of my music taste. Due to pandora's issues with the larger labels it has exposed me to many smaller artists. When I get around to getting a music player that isn't my smart phone I will need to buy a lot of songs, and I will be using pandora to help me identify which ones.

I see the music labels actions as just crying that the world is changing and wanting to turn back the hands of time so they can control content and maximize their profits by investing in a small number of artists. Now there is a larger playing field and it is highly diverse. This upsets cartels, which in my mind is a good thing.

The book publishing industry is not acting quite as stupidly as the music industry did and I suspect they will come through it better. Change is inevitable, ride the wave or be crushed by it.
-Duncan
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
I believe that they could easily provide e-books at a volume and cost to price that
would make for a decent profit to all involuved. A good enough e-book for $5 and a
great/high demand e-book for $10, would mean a much greater volume of sales and
very little profit for any pirates. Most would gladly pay such prices and never look to
any of the questionable sources.

My 2 cents worth.

Luck;
Ken
I've said it before, but if ebooks were priced and positioned in direct competition with second hand paperbacks, the book industry would be able to grab a lot of money for themselves that is currently only going to second hand bookshops.
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:30 PM   #10
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I've said it before, but if ebooks were priced and positioned in direct competition with second hand paperbacks, the book industry would be able to grab a lot of money for themselves that is currently only going to second hand bookshops.
Did the sentries of the Holy Grail ever accept a second hand goblet, carved of wood? Nope, the Grail has to be made out of pure gold and unimaginable beyond dreams.

It's all about publishers' dreams. Or totally lost therapy sessions of people who didn't get the message ...

Generation X? Is this for Generation eXtinct? Im 42, btw ...
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:38 PM   #11
BillSmithBooks
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It's pretty obvious there is a complete disconnect between the manufacturers (publishers) and the audience.

The audience is screaming, "Make it cheap, make it easy to use and you will sell a lot more copies and make a lot more money. We're not in it to rip you off...but we don't want to be ripped off by you. Give us ebooks at $1, $2, $5 and each of us will buy many, many more than we do now at $9.99 each. Make it easier and cheaper than buying used paperbacks and we'll support you."

The publishers are saying, "Oh, no, it's our price or nothing."

Nothing it is.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BillSmithBooks View Post
It's pretty obvious there is a complete disconnect between the manufacturers (publishers) and the audience.

The audience is screaming, "Make it cheap, make it easy to use and you will sell a lot more copies and make a lot more money. We're not in it to rip you off...but we don't want to be ripped off by you. Give us ebooks at $1, $2, $5 and each of us will buy many, many more than we do now at $9.99 each. Make it easier and cheaper than buying used paperbacks and we'll support you."

The publishers are saying, "Oh, no, it's our price or nothing."

Nothing it is.
BINGO!

And the same with the record companies! Will someone tell my why I should pay $20 for a cd of an album that came out 20 years ago that only has 9 or 10 songs on it?

Sorry it's not happening, I will go to Amazon & buy it used for $7.99 or even cheaper. I happily shelled out $20.00 for Carly Simons Anthology, but it has 40 songs on it. Of course I bought it used. If I had paid new it would have cost almost $32.00.

I also had no problem buying the Eagles, Long Run Out of Eden brand new for $11.98. Sold through Walmart, & online by the Eagles themselves. Fairly priced for 20 songs.

These companies either better get with the program or be left behind.

Last edited by cfrizz; 05-04-2010 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #13
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I have a large paper library that I would like to see in ebook format. For those books I am price sensitive. OTOH I buy a lot of fiction the moment it is released, I am eagerly awaiting a number of books. For those handful of authors and series I will happily pay even hardcover prices on release day.

I assume that others are similarly motivated. I doubt you get an ebook reader unless you are an avid reader. It is hard to be an avid reader and not get addicted to a series or two that is currently in progress. Once addicted I assume you are eagerly awaiting each release as I am. Books like that obviously have a different demand and therefore a different optimal price from the publisher's point of view. A few months after release the optimal price is obviously different since the demand, composed of those remaining interested, has changed.

Just my $0.02.
-Duncan
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:48 PM   #14
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the easiest way to avoid getting ripped of is to not produce.....just get a job doing something else and you don't have to worry anymore
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BillSmithBooks View Post
It's pretty obvious there is a complete disconnect between the manufacturers (publishers) and the audience.

The audience is screaming, "Make it cheap, make it easy to use and you will sell a lot more copies and make a lot more money. We're not in it to rip you off...but we don't want to be ripped off by you. Give us ebooks at $1, $2, $5 and each of us will buy many, many more than we do now at $9.99 each. Make it easier and cheaper than buying used paperbacks and we'll support you."

The publishers are saying, "Oh, no, it's our price or nothing."

Nothing it is.
Hear Hear!

If they make it reasonable people will buy. If not, they will download for free. The same thing happens in the Tobacco industry. When the tax hikes up to a huge percentage of the cost of smokes, the chopchop industry goes wild and organised crime gets involved.

If all ebooks were capped at $5, the tidal wave of the reading revolution will come in faster and we will all benefit including the publishers. Well the printers may lose out, they will have to start investing in the technology to make ebooks real quick.
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