Interesting Tim O'Reilly article.

From: Alexander Schreiber <>
Date: Fri Dec 13 11:49:01 2002

On Thu, Dec 12, 2002 at 10:22:05PM -0800, Wayne M. Smith wrote:
> > As seen on Slashdot; an decent read. I'll have to admit that I agree
> > with much of what O'Reilly has to say here:
> > <>
> >
> I became dubious as soon as he trotted out the "sample-then-buy" myth. While
> this argument might not have been laughable 4-5 years ago before CD burners were
> cheap and widespread, it's preposterous today.

It isn't. I've bought quite a stack of CDs after copying the MP3-files
from friends who encoded their collections. Without freely swapped
MP3-encoded music, I would never have heard about most of those bands
(because they aren't plugged by million dollar ads from some big record
company). In my experience, swapping music is basically (almost) free
advertising. Yes, there will always be a load of freeriders who'll just
burn a CD instead of buying it - but most of them wouldn't have bought
the CD anyway, so thats not much of a loss.

> The rest is largely "blame the
> victim" drivel in the form of
> "you-haven't-given-us-what-we-want-in-the-form-we-want-it-so-that-justifies-our-
> stealing-it-from-you-until-you-do" -- or as O'Reilly cutely puts it "Give the
> Wookie what he wants."

IMHO he is right about this. Either you sell the masses what they want,
or they'll find another way to get it - but likeley without money ending
up in your pocket this time.

The big record companies are deadly afraid of the need to adapt their
business model to modern times. They were crying "our companies will
die" when the video tape came out. What happened? Now they make $BIGNUM
on selling pre-recorded video tapes to hundreds of millions of
customers. That market most likely shrunk in the last years - because
customers where moving over to DVD.

> If you buy that, then you probably subscribe to that
> mainstay of the hacker apocrypha that Jon Johansen created DeCSS because he
> wanted to view DVDs on a Linux machine. Right.

Yes, I find it absolutely believable. I'm annoyed at CSS because it is
intended to keep me from using the product I bought if I don't comply
with whatever stupid ideas the media industry comes up with. I don't own
a DVD player. I do, however, have a DVD drive in my workstation - which
runs Linux (no MS Windows OS on my machines, since several years).
Without DeCSS I would never have bought a single DVD because they would
have been useless to me - now I have a small stack of DVD I bought
sitting on the shelf behind me, because there is software that breaks
the stupid CSS nonsense (What cracksmoking monkey invented this awfully
bad excuse for an "encryption" algorithm anyway?) in realtime and allows
me to watch my (legally purchased) DVDs. And while I'm at it - the DVD
region coding is another annoyance - thankfully, being "region code
free" is an almost required "standard" feature for DVD-Players (and DVD
drives) around here, customer cash at work ;-)

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and
 looks like work."                                      -- Thomas A. Edison
Received on Fri Dec 13 2002 - 11:49:01 GMT

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