Wednesday, April 1, 2009

and while I am on the subject of DRM....

Stephen Fry made a great point on DRM in his talk at the Apple Store in London last month (download podcast from iTunes here)*

"People who think that if it can be got for free, no-one going to pay for it..... don't understand the fuzziness of the human mind"

Piracy was a grey area. You are not either a pirate or a good citizen. We have all pirated something in our lives whether it was copying a cassette tape for a school friend or photocopying a chapter of a book or some software. And yet along the way we have bought a hell of a lot of stuff. Our houses are full of CD's and DVD's and books that we have bought legally.

"If the creative industry gets too snotty about pirates and criminalizes and tries to create too much of this "you're a thief" business. People will go <expletive deleted>. They are going to say I've seen you in your Rolls Royce and your house in Barbados, don't come to me moaning like this."

"(The creative industry) have to use their human imagination to find a way to sort this out in such a way there will still be an incentive to own copyrights but also there will be a way of disseminating it around that isn't so locked in in zones and codes and things"

Stephen had artists, writers and singers in mind when he said this, but I think this applies to the whole media business including publishing. Some call our sector "creative and media". It is high time for us to be creative!

*The whole podcast is worth listening to, but if you just want to hear the DRM bit then fast forward the podcast to 44.55 minutes

1 comment:

  1. Intersting, I just listened to this podcast this morning over breakfast...
    I think the whole DRM issue and piracy issues really depends on your point of view and how much you make on the content and how much you make from the fame you based on your content...

    For a talking head author or rockband the additional exposure from illicit distribution probably makes up for itself in speaking fees and concert tickets. If you are hugely succesful it's probably a loss for you especially if you don't have other revenue streams that derive from your personal brand.
    For example someone like Seth Godin probably wants his book stolen since the real money is convincing sheeple and companies he's got something worthwhile to say. Stephen king on the other hand, the last thing he wants is his content stolen. Content being free doesn't help his exposure or fame, I don't believe he wants to do the motivational speaking tour and who could afford him if he wanted to...

    If you're truly niche I don't know if it matters that much one way or the other, there I think its' about which distribution channel allows you to move up the food chain..