On 03/04/07, Jason Cartwright <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:> Yes, of course. However, I said
"more people put the unDRMed file on the> torrents". The file without DRM will be easier to
distribute, therefore> perhaps more people will.
The point about this Apple/EMI deal is that they have costed out the"cost" of
non-DRM. This is very significant, and something MilesMetcalfe suggested in the DRM
Since there's no transcript, here's my understanding of what Miles was on about:
The BBC was in a unique position to be the first to challengeentertainment
businesses on their assumption that they cannot makemoney without DRM.
How? Calling their bluff by asking to cost it out, and negotiate overreal
Apple/EMI have beat them to it, but as Tom Loosemore said at the startof the
DRM podcast, the BBC dropped the ball on strategic future mediavision some time
In a capitalist system, everything has a price, even intangibles. Sowhat is the
precise figure of the risk that non-DRM formats poses toproducers?
Specifically, at what price would they sell the BBC therights to publish online
in non-DRM formats?
It makes sense for the BBC to offer non-DRM formats because it ispublicly
funded, and restricting the public isn't good. It makes sensefor the BBC to
seriously ask how much this would cost, because it ispublicly funded and can
actually pay a reasonable premium for suchnon-DRM rights.
So far, this has not been discussed anywhere openly. All we have
fromApple/EMI's no-DRM publishing is a 130% price, and a higher bitrate.
The higher bitrate is a misdirection, as someone else already said inthis
The price is still significant, though.
The BBC is paying rightholders to be able to publish things in the DRMiPlayer, they could
pay them 130% of that cost and have no DRM. Soundslike that hundreds-of-thousands budget
figure bandied about to develop"Open Trust Model DRM" or whatever it was, could
be better spent onthese 30%s.
Prices are ultimately set by what the market can bear, and whenproducers have
talked about the price of non-DRM content before, namedvast sums that the
market simply would not bear. The BBC needs to beprepared to call their bluff
on this. If I can buy a DVD of a wholeseries for £20, watch any episode as many
times as I like, convert anyep to a format that will play on my iPod, and even
share duplicatecopies of the discs with my friends using software that comes
with theoperating system, then something like £5 per showing per person
isclearly a nonsense figure that the market simply won't bear.
The thing about putting it into numbers is that they can be tested. £5per
showing per person can be put to the test in the market, as anexperiment. If
the public engages at this price point, amazing. Ifthey don't, either the price
has to come down, or a better service hasto be provided.
I'll be interested to see what happens to the 130% price, if it goes up or down.
The other thing about putting it into numbers is that it examines theassumption
that producers should be paid for things that haven'thappened yet. Performers
are by their nature egotistical, and tend tooverestimate the size of their
audience. The risk that they aresuccessful, and non-DRM files will hurt their
income, must beconsidered next to the risk that they are unsuccessful, and they
willhave no income at all.
The other group who are influential in the BBCs use of DRM is the BBCTrust. For them to
mandate DRM seems to be the tail wagging the dog.Surely the "public value
test," that the trust is meant to evaluateBBC activities with, is failed by DRM,
since DRM provides no value tothe public at all.
Its possible that, despite this Apple/EMI deal, television productioncompanies
will never take part in any non-DRM discussions.
The BBC has said it is committed to new talent, though, so if thisreally turns
out to be the case, the BBC can either become anelitist institution propping up
the old established players,or make good on its commitment and start giving new
talent theexposure that they need, on the new terms that they will no doubt
becomfortable with. And pay them 30% more than the big boys!
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