Netflix CEO Mike Lang, speaking a the MIPCOM conference, discussed the problems facing his industry and suggested that while piracy isn't a big deal, chokepoints in the distribution chain were, because when there isn't enough diversity in distribution, you get intermediaries that end up totally controlling your business:
Another problem, related to the pricing issue, is the emergence of digital monopolies such as the one Apple has in the digital music business. This threatens the music industry more than piracy, Miramax’s CEO suggested.
“Apple is the strongest company in the music industry because there was not enough competition, and still to this day there is not enough competition. As an industry it can’t then influence, packaging, merchandising – all the things that are vital,” Lang said.
“As an industry – the movie industry – we have to be very cognisant of that. That’s why we did our deal with Netflix, and why we also did our deal with Hulu. We want multiple players to be successful.”
Sarandos also learned his lesson from watching the music industry struggle with their digital strategy. “When consumers tell you what they want, give it to them. Figure out a way to give it to them, because they will figure out a way to get it.”
Or in other words. Don’t blame piracy for everything, but innovate – or die.
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
Kids’ author/droid builder Kurt Zimmerman created “Artoo Deco,” an Art Deco take on R2-D2, capable of movement under radio control, and with an in-built sound-system that makes cool, droidish noises.
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