Denial And Television 2.0: The BitTorrent Effect
If you're at all interested in copyright, the movie industry, BitTorrent, or Bram Cohen (its creator), I recommend reading The BitTorrent Effect from the January 2005 issue of Wired.
Here are two excerpts that I enjoyed:
"Cohen knows the havoc he has wrought. In November, he spoke at a Los Angeles awards show and conference organized by Billboard, the weekly paper of the music business. After hobnobbing with "content people" from the record and movie industries, he realized that "the content people have no clue. I mean, no clue. The cost of bandwidth is going down to nothing. And the size of hard drives is getting so big, and they're so cheap, that pretty soon you'll have every song you own on one hard drive. The content distribution industry is going to evaporate." Cohen said as much at the conference's panel discussion on file-sharing. The audience sat in a stunned silence, their mouths agape at Cohen's audacity."
That makes me really wonder about that so-called industry. How can they not see it changing before their eyes? Do they not know about their own kids downloading music and movies on-line? I guess they're just too locked in to their way of seeing the world. Like Ricky Fitts says in American Beauty, "Never underestimate the power of denial."
"What exactly would a next-generation broadcaster look like? The VCs at Union Square Ventures don't know, though they'd love to invest in one. They suspect the network of the future will resemble Yahoo! or Amazon.com - an aggregator that finds shows, distributes them in P2P video torrents, and sells ads or subscriptions to its portal. The real value of the so-called BitTorrent broadcaster would be in highlighting the good stuff, much as the collaborative filtering of Amazon and TiVo helps people pick good material. Eric Garland, CEO of the P2P analysis firm BigChampagne, says, "the real work isn't acquisition. It's good, reliable filtering. We'll have more video than we'll know what to do with. A next-gen broadcaster will say, 'Look, there are 2,500 shows out there, but here are the few that you're really going to like.' We'll be willing to pay someone to hold back the tide.""
Not enough people have been thinking about Television 2.0. Will it be the traditional broadcasters or the Internet companies who take the lead? My bet is on the Internet companies.
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About the Author:
Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny's blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.
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