Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
Subject:   Publishing *is* Changing
Date:   2002-12-12 20:58:10
From:   anonymous2
The problem for the media moguls is that they no longer own the playing field, and are trying to change the rules so they don't have to change the way they operate.

Do I have to explain that this is not a viable long term choice? I didn't think so.

Tim's excellent seven points may have missed one: Making product more easily available generally means you will sell more of it. I believe that O'Reilly is in the process of proving this in real life.

But the media moguls are repeating what movies did when TV got popular: First ignore them, later fight them, and finally cooperate with them. They're slow, but they finally got there.

Will they make that transition this time? I don't think so. Two reasons - first the current heads of the enterprises and their puppet Valenti seem to be totally disconnected from the real world, using tactics that would work only in the early 1900s.

Second, they face the problem of Internet time. No longer do they have years and years to try and beat the new distribution medium. In fact, it may be too late already. If the bosses said tomorrow "Let's go full blast on the Internet," by the time it got done (large corp inertia & politics) several operations like Amazon and O'Reilly would already be operating in the web space.

The moguls are fighting a rearguard operation primarily because they do not understand computers and the Internet, and they fear it as a consequence.

I believe that Tim has sucessfully drmonstrated a vision and method of making it work, free for anyone with the guts to take the risk. And risk is just what those media chiefs have forgotten or are unwilling to take.

I wouldn't be surprised to see something like what Tim has described six months from now.

Bill Nicholls