Rene Summer gets it Wrong about Piracy and Payment… The Internet Time Machine Strikes Again.

Rene Summer posted the article “Stop treating symptoms and start curing diseases” on The Networked Society Blog where he re-hashed the same incorrect talking points that the internet industry “Merchants Of Doubt” have been trying to pedal for a while. As much as it may have been fair to make these arguments in 2003, it’s a more than a bit silly to propose the same talking points a decade later.

Rene writes:

This reliance on enforcement to protect old technologies (read physical distribution) and old business models is the root cause of the market-supply failure problem. It results in insufficient access to lawful digital content and its symptoms are illegal access. The causation works even the other way around increasing availability of lawful digital content also leads to decreased frequency in accessing illegal content.

The idea that there is a lack of new business models and legal distribution to address consumer habits of all kinds across many platforms is just as ridiculous coming from Rene as it was coming from Kim Dotcom earlier this year where it was also shown to be false.

Of course we also know people pirate simple because they can as witnessed by the piracy of Arrested Development which was native to Netflix and a recent story in the LA Times about San Francisco Chord Cutters.

The one thing that becomes clear is that all legal services have one major disadvantage, payment.

“It’s not that this participant is bad at math,” Juenger wrote. “This person did not want the pay-tv product, plain and simple.”

So let’s get honest about “business models” and recognize that there is a competitive advantage to companies who do not have to pay for the cost of goods and by extension, not pay the creators for their work.

Here’s our complete breakdown as originally posted in our response to Kim Dotcom. That’s some kind of company to keep Rene…

Kim Dotcom’s “End Of Piracy”, that was easy…

In the anticipation of the announcement of the new Mega launch, Pat Pilcher at The New Zealand Herald wrote an article titled “Kim Dotcom on Ending Piracy” in which the journalist listed Mr.Dotcom’s five steps to ending piracy. Pilcher writes,

As ironic as that may sound, Kim Dotcom’s logic is inescapably robust. Here’s what his end to piracy manifesto says:

1. Create great stuff
2. Make it easy to buy
3. Same day worldwide release
4. Fair price
5. Works on any device

Looking at what Kim is saying, the 5 points seem pretty obvious, although each could quickly get bogged down once Hollywood gets involved.

So let’s look at these one by one.

1. Create Great Stuff
Well, that’s a no brainer. The content industries create the most prized and sought after “stuff” in the world including films such as Avatar, The Avengers, and The Dark Night Rises as well as franchises like Iron Man, Transformers, Harry Potter and others. Music artists include the likes of Adele, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift, The Beatles and countless others. Making great stuff has never been a problem.

2. Make It Easy To Buy
Another no brainer. Perhaps a decade plus ago this might have been an argument, but not today. There are over 500 legal and licensed music services alone. For the film industry there are services like Netflix, Vudu and Cinemanow as well as other direct to home video on demand providers that give consumers more access to more content across more platforms than at any time in history.

3. Same Day World Wide Release
For music this is more less the standard now and is also more and more common for feature film releases as well. This is a common practice for the largest and most anticipated releases of music and films, the “stuff” that is the most aggressively pirated. For smaller indie releases this may not always be possible but than again I’m not sure that the problem we are combating is in Nigeria on indie rock albums and movies that are more or less film festival darlings.

4. Fair price
Done. Netflix is $7.99 a month for unlimited access to it’s entire library of films and tv shows. Spotify is $9.99 for unlimited access to it’s entire library which consist of probably 95% of every known recording in print. Add to this the cost of a song download is 99 cents. Less than the cost of a candy bar. Renting a movie from a video on demand service ranges from 3.99 to 5.99. Price is no longer an issue and has not been for years.

5. Works on Any Device
Music is DRM free and has been for at least half a decade. Streaming Services such as Netflix and Spotify are also available on every major platform including not only Mac and PC computers, but also mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets by a variety of manufacturers. Additionally most new video game consoles and blu-ray players also include many of these same apps.

So there you have it, the end of piracy. Even Pat Pilcher at The New Zealand Herald agrees a referring to a similar response from the New Zealand record industry. He writes,

Well there it is, RIANZ’s response in full. I can’t argue with much that they’ve said, as they’ve pretty much complied with most of Kim’s 5 points.

So Kim Dotcom’s five suggestions have been fulfilled and yet, I don’t think we’ll see an end to piracy anytime soon. There is still one thing piracy offers that legal, licensed and legitimate services do not, and that is compensation to the artists, musicians, filmmakers and creators which requires that consumers actually do pay the fair price asked.

It’s all pretty simple and by Kim Dotcom’s own suggestions and admission it’s pretty clear where the problem is from here on out, and it’s not in his five suggestions…

And, of course, let us not forget this classic… Kim Dotcom Parody Video Appears on YouTube

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3 thoughts on “Rene Summer gets it Wrong about Piracy and Payment… The Internet Time Machine Strikes Again.

  1. I think that “Price is no longer an issue and has not been for years” is a fairly bold statement of fact, that I would strongly question.

    In the UK Netfix is £5.99 a month and Spotifty Premium is £9.99. So £16 a month for both. Just short of £200 a year to be able to listen and watch almost everything you might want. OR you could get it for free and pay your food bills for a month or two.

    The truth is that for the price to be no longer an issue for the majority, that price has to be a lot closer to zero. Of course it stops being so lucrative for the providers, but it’s highly unlikely that the price points they’ve currently set are any more of a consumer rip-off than the price of CDs

    In actual fact the best solution (and what is starting to happen over here) is that the media providers do deals with the ISPs to bundle their products with the consumer broadband packages, so that it effectively becomes zero cost to the consumer – as the actual cost is hidden in the cost of the broadband package.

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