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Old 01-10-2007, 10:31 AM   #1
Liviu_5
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Findlaw Essay on Changes to Content Distribution

Hi,

Saw this posted on Baen's Bar and thought to share it here. Interesting essay.

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hilden/20070108.html

Liviu
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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Very interesting. And, sadly, not surprising. If you are a content owner and you don't have any regard for the good of society or consumers in general (i.e. all you want is to maximize your revenue for any particular content item), then of course you will want to prevent your content from being resold.

You want to collect every cent of revenue from the item, and you also want to even have control of how and when people use your content. That way you get to sell and resell it to them again and again throughout their lifetime. And, of course, you will use your considerable influence to make the laws represent your desires instead of the public good that they are supposed to serve.

Fortunately, the world seems to work in a way that the ubiquitousness of illegal distribution will force content owners to come up with customer-friendly and reasonably priced alternatives. DRM is onerous enough that it will hurt sales not help revenue. In my opinion, whether it's movies or music or books, reaching large masses are reasonable prices and with convenient terms will explode revenues, making everyone a winner. Even so, providing added value in higher and higher quality reproductions or new and innovative value-added packaging of content still offers opportunities to mild top revenue earning content items. But it requires additional value to be offered if they want additional revenue. (What a novel idea!)

My greatest fear is that the first sale doctrine will die, and fair use will become extremely limited, and we will end up with content owners with full control of what platform, when and how you use their content. In my opinion, it's the worst case scenario of society. The trouble is that it could easily happen. The verdict is still not yet out.
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