I've just given my speech at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego. The talk was called All Complex Ecoystems Have Parasites
(a line I nicked from my friend Kathryn Myronuk). As with last year's talk, I've dedicated this one to the public domain and put it online.
CD has a rich ecosystem, filled with parasites -- entrepreneurial
organisms that move to fill every available niche. If you spent a
thousand bucks on CDs ten years ago, the ecosystem for CDs would
reward you handsomely. In the intervening decade, parasites who
have found an opportunity to suck value out of the products on
offer from the labels and the dupe houses by offering you the
tools to convert your CDs to ring-tones, karaoke, MP3s, MP3s on
iPods and other players, MP3s on CDs that hold a thousand percent
more music -- and on and on.
DVDs live in a simpler, slower ecosystem, like a terrarium in a
bottle where a million species have been pared away to a
manageable handful. DVDs pay no such dividend. A thousand
dollars' worth of ten-year old DVDs are good for just what they
were good for ten years ago: watching. You can't put your kid
into her favorite cartoon, you can't downsample the video to
something that plays on your phone, and you certainly can't
lawfully make a hard-drive-based jukebox from your discs.
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