Why Is Hollywood Making A Sequel To The Napster Wars?
Shutting down Napster was a huge blunder for the record companies, leading to the collapse of the entire industry. Now, movies and TV studios are looking to repeat the failure by going after YouTube, says columnist Cory Doctorow.
Hollywood loves sequels -- they're a safe bet if the franchise is already successful. But you'd have to be nuts to shoot a sequel to a disastrous flop.
The Napster debacle was the entertainment industry's biggest-ever flop. That disaster took place six years ago, when the record industry succeeded in shutting down the pioneering file-sharing service. Record companies show no signs of recovery.
The disastrous thing about Napster wasn't that it it existed, but rather that the record industry managed to kill it.
Napster had an industry-friendly business-model: raise venture capital, start charging for access to the service, and then pay billions of dollars to the record companies in exchange for licenses to their works. Yes, Napster kicked this plan off without getting permission from the record companies, but that's not so unusual. The record companies followed the same business plan a hundred years ago, when they started recording sheet music without permission, raising capital and garnering profits, and then working out a deal to pay the composers for the works they'd built their fortunes on.
After that, the record companies had a field day: practically every venture-funded P2P company went down, and the record companies made millions of dollars.
But the record companies weren't ready to replace these services with equally compelling alternatives. Instead, they fielded inferior replacements like PressPlay, with limited catalog, high prices, and anti-copying technology (digital rights management, or DRM) that alienated users by the millions by treating them like crooks instead of customers. These half-baked ventures did untold damage to the record companies and their parent firms.
Just look at Sony: It should have been at the top of the heap. It produces some of the world's finest, best-designed electronics. It owns one of the largest record labels in the world. The synergy should have been incredible.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.