Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stop Trying To Make Money From Distribution

As Tim O'Reily said, this link sums up Holywood's piracy problem perfectly.

Before Internet distributing content was inefficient, hence distributors could provide a service by making the delivery of content just a tad more efficient. The problem is publishers also hooked their payment-receiving mechanism into this delivery as it was logical at the time; A needs product X, B delivers it, A pays to B before delivery, who passes the earnings onto C.

Fast forward to 2day. Free distribution of content is highly efficient -- noone can beat it and provide a "service" by replacing this. Unfortunately, now content producers lose their "hook", the place where they inserted their payment receiving step.

This is why I've been saying, a new payment mechanism must assume distribution is now seperate from payment mechanism, for good. Since legal enforcement is out of question (Net distribution is, well.. distributed, but enforcement is concentrated, 3rd wave vs 2nd wave, latter loses) we need to make it very easy to indicate interest, "likes" in a product. If given the chance, I am sure people will indicate their likes, dislikes; in fact, there is nothing people like to do more in their leisure time.

Free market, capitalism worked because it was mostly based on what was natural. In this day and age sharing and distribution of content is natural. This is the new "constant" and any successful system needs to take that constant into account, rather than fighting it. You can try to fight it of course but the natural will kick your ass. Just ask the Soviets. However, with one simple change of viewpoint, free distribution of content can be seen as a major service, a benefit to all consumers and content creators alike.

I am not saying my proposal is the best, or the only method. I was simply trying to demonstrate an alternative that takes the new constant into account.

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