I was heading off to my parents for dinner and as I was riding with my old man he had the radio playing with commentators talking about the merging of the ‘Internet Party’ and ‘Mana Party’ and thus the usual suspects were commenting. One of the commentators said, “oh, young people will vote for Kim Dot Com and the Internet Party because they just want to download things off the internet without having to pay for any of it” to which I exploded – honestly, these are the types of idiots that are given positions on radio stations to comment? really? if this dip stick hasn’t been keeping up with the discussion then he bloody well in no position to comment on such an issue in the first place – the issue isn’t wanting ‘things for free’ but for media companies to pull their head out of their ass and make movies, movies and television show episodes available on the internet so people can buy them then download them so that they can watch it on a laptop, mobile phone etc.
That is the problem and the people who are resisting it every step of the way are the distributors and the relationship between the content producers, the content provider and the content carrier – in many cases you have a large cable television business which also owns its own channel line up which in turn own the means on which it is broadcast then add on top of that the refusal to sell direct to the consumer and instead they only sell to television channels and you end up with the mess that exists today – television shows that are weeks if not months behind the US schedule and no way to buy it legally online so what is the inevitable result? people download it illegally. Now, the sane thing for these organisations to do would be to go, “wow, our product is really popular, we should make it available world wide for a reasonable price for download and thus capture some of those people who would otherwise download it via bit torrent” but that would require common sense and also require them to realise how stupid it was to sign ball busting arrangements with networks in the United States and overseas.
Who are the main instigators of the status quo? the distributors – they’re like the same people who howled and whined when the government started to allow parallel imported products from overseas which meant that big retailers like The Warehouse Group (which owns Noel Leeming, The Warehouse, Stationery Warehouse etc) to import the products straight from the manufacture and sell it to the consumer without having to deal with a middle man of of course want to have their cut in the whole process – getting rid of the middle man has allowed prices to drop and the likes of Apple to sell direct to the consumer in NZ without having to deal with the old regime of a monopolistic distributor who milked their position for all its worth – to the detriment of both Apple’s presence in NZ along with consumers being ripped off as well. It seems that the media interests never learn from history – rather than seeing it as an opportunity they’re like the luddites who tried to destroy the steam powered mills during the industrial revolution. Once again we have balding middle aged over weight men petrified that their model needs to be re-thought and possibly some of their chums might find themselves obsolete in the new age of media.