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September 29, 2005

Feinstein and Entertainment Industry, PLEASE, get a clue

It looks like Senator Feinstein is running off at the mouth again, trying to legislate file sharing yet again.  I'm just trying to figure out when the light will go on and she will tell her contributing corporations that maybe they should get a clue and evolve their distribution model instead of spending all their time and energy trying to prosecute something out of existence that has the presence of mind to change faster than lawyers can file.

Of course that would mean that she wouldn't get any more soft money, so I'm just going to assume that the bulb will stay dim infinitely by choice.

Here are some ideas for free:

Problem: You claim that you are losing money on TV shows that are being distributed sans commercials.

Solution: Why don't you just create a model wherein you distribute the shows via torrent your selves, but do so with commercials in it?  Heck, because there are specific demographics of active torrent sharing users for each show, with a little bit of market research, you could even put DIFFERENT and TARGETED commercials in the content that would have least impact on the experience, but still allow for advertisement revenue.

Problem:  But what about those cable shows that people are sharing that are for subscribers only?

Solution:  I'm not sure of a clear distribution model, other than to say, personally, I don't want to watch HBO.  I want to watch Deadwood, Carnival and Six Feet Under.  That's the only content I'm interested in, and it looks to me that others share this view.  I'm not interested in paying a significant sum just to see three shows, so filesharing becomes an instant solution. Movies are so readily available via Ondemand Services and rental environments like netflix that knowing that Blade is on HBO at three in the afternoon is so irrelevant to me, I don't know why it is still an issue.  How about an OnDemand service for just your created content (original programming, I think you call it)?  That way, I can still pay you for the content that I'm interested in (which I would gladly do), but I don't have to

  1. Pay stupid money for content I have no interest in..
  2. Be at home at a specific time to watch it.

I seriously want to be able to create a content stream of just the shows that I want to watch.  I have such a narrow bandwidth of time that I can dedicate to entertainment, that I don't want to have to sift through pile of crap just to be entertained.  I know what I like, let me see it.  Too much of the content that I'm interested in is on at the same time on the same day.  I think that this is awesome in that the producers are finally getting their heads out of their collective asses long enough to realize that some of us actually like dramatic, character driven shows that aren't just about the joke or blowing shit up.  That you can have characters that have wants and history and desires, that can be funny, inciteful and violent, etc.

Every tool that you are rallying against is a clue that entertainment and it's distribution is changing.  All of the new tools out there are designed to allow me to watch MY personalized feed.  TiVo, for instance...duh!

Why don't you start looking for your next chance for metamorphosis instead of crying because we (yeah, us, you know? Your CUSTOMERS!!!) are evolving?  Just ask Northwest and the other HUGE airlines what happens when you don't evolve your distribution and business model.  If you can't be as fluid as the market you are trying to be comeptitive in, it's time to retire.  Go fishing, buy a small island, see Europe, do something, but either lead the charge of innovation or follow us to innovation, but for God's sake, get the hell out of our way.

So, Dianne, now I have to go watch all the shows I missed last night while I worked 15 hours to keep our economy going.  If you would stop taking money you didn't deserve, spending money WE didn't have and interfering in subjects you obviously don't understand long to actually try to understand how Moore's Law works and relates to business on all levels, I might take you seriously.

While I agree that there is a lot of illegal activity going on, maybe we can work together to implement a solution that works, rather than wasting time, money and effort on legislating laws that have no other effect than to make special interest groups happy.  What do you think?  Go talk to the people who are "consulting" to you on this subject and ask them if they would rather make money around this issue than spend money trying to stop it.  Let us know what they think, we'd (the technology people they are so angry at) would love to help them figure it out.  Some of us even get it well enough to explain it in little words if necessary.


Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at September 29, 2005 10:39 AM