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TinotopiaLog → The Customer Is Always Wrong ( 4 Mar 2002)
Monday 04 March 2002

The Customer Is Always Wrong

An excellent Newsweek article on the music industry. The conventional wisdom now seems to very clearly be that the industry has gone off the deep end.

Clearly, clamping locks on electronic equipment and intentionally crippling CDs wouldn’t increase sales. Would it depress sales? Almost certainly. […] if new discs are copy-protected, someone who wants a classic James Taylor album might do better to buy a vintage disc on eBay. MP3 fans desiring a rip-friendly disc of Moby’s latest would be forced to seek a pirated version where someone has illegally broken the security controls. I can’t see how this situation would boost album revenues. Then there’s the impact on the electronics industry. If new computers, CD-DVD players and personal video recorders are hobbled, consumers will hold on to their pre-Hollings machines. […] What makes this all totally insane is that Internet file sharing is not necessarily the foe of copyright holders. […] No outlaw service can ever provide consumers with the deep libraries at guaranteed high quality that content owners can deliver. […] If the prospect is scary, the media giants can take comfort in history—their original reaction to previous technological advances, from talkies to television to the VCR, was just as hysterical as it is with the Internet.

The music industry, of course, maintains that only they truly understand the situation, and that the rest of us just don’t “get it”. Presumably, if we were insiders, we’d understand how it it that effectively increasing the price and decreasing the quality of the product will lead to greater sales.

The entertainment industry has fought against every technological innovation that touched on their business. When they lost their battles, they went on to make even more money than before by embracing the technology that they swore would be their ruin. I continue to be amazed at just how stupid these people seem to be.

Posted by tino at 23:50 4.03.02
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