Universal Music CEO's fears illustrated in funny webcomic

The latest installment of the Hijinks Ensue webcomic dramatises the now-infamous Wired interview with Universal Music CEO Doug Morris in which the scared old man claimed that the record industry had been unable to respond to Napster because they don't understand technology and are too naive to hire a technologist to explain it to them because in their ignorance, they wouldn't be able to tell if s/he was lying. Link (Thanks, Emily!)

See also:
Universal Music CEO: Record industry can't tell when geeks are lying to us about technology Universal Music CEO: iPod owners are thieves


  1. The thing with this cartoon is that, while it does exaggerate what Doug Morris was saying, it doesn’t really put it in a different perspective than what Morris actually said. I think Morris would himself smile in spite of himself at reading this.

    The heart of the issue was not that Morris et al. were ignorant, but rather that their excuses for not finding a way to educate themselves in order to make proper decisions kind of just shows their laziness about the issue.

    Sure, you’re not educated about a new form of media to know how it could work for you from where you stand, and still work for the customer base. This is an ignorance which was probably shared between people like Morris and most people who were using Napster.

    But the excuse that you’re so ignorant that you wouldn’t know who to trust and therefore had no choice but to accuse people who went using the new technology without you of being theives because it would seem that the only alternative would be to give up the shop is a pretty terrible one.

    If you don’t know who to trust, find somebody who you do trust who can help you make the decision.

    For example, suppose it’s 1920, and you’re looking to buy your first automobile. Enough people knew enough about cars at the time to be able to make a somewhat informed decision, but of course not everyone did, as commercial automobile sales were still pretty new to the general public, and were only just starting to become something that the everyday man would consider as something other than an extravagance.

    But suppose in 1920 you were a business owner, and you were considering purchasing ten delivery trucks, even though you had never owned a car before, hardly knew anyone who did, and knew very little about how they worked, or if they really would be beneficial for you to have.

    Naturally, you wouldn’t take the word of the first car salesman you spoke to as absolute truth, nor even the second. Learning the technical jargain and the many variables of what makes an automobile good or bad for whatever purpose may just be too much information for you to deal with in addition to the heart of running your business, which is simply making your 1920-relavent product, but that hardly makes the decision to say “absolutely never will I purchase automobiles for my business because I don’t understand them and am therefore not able to trust any automobile salesman” a rational decision.

    I worked for a company once where the owner, who was in his mid-60’s and had been running the business since 1962, refused to use computers and argued that they were more or less worthless. At least Morris admitted his ignorance about technology, but he’s still dodging the fact that what he did in light of that ignorance is not a good excuse.

  2. But I like my electronic doodads and dee-vee-dees. They are ever so much more fun than the wooden Hoop-and-Stick. :(

  3. If only Morris had hired some steam-powered, chess playing automatons. THEY would have gotten the songs back!

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