Sunday, January 8, 2012

Entertainment Industry and the Truth About Information: It's the Experience, Stupid

I’ve been stewing over a post by Steve Blank retweeted earlier today by director Peter Webber. Blank discusses the reason why the movie industry can’t innovate, pointing to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) as one of the firewalls the movie industry bought to prevent incursion on the industry’s intellectual property.
SOPA is a cheap method for the industry to avoid more expensive innovation and take a less risky action: sue the fuck out of anybody who might find a way to tweak their output and make yet another product, especially products from which they can’t reliably draw income. Bottom line, it’s not about creativity or protecting it; SOPA is about protecting monetary turf on the cheap while avoiding any expense-incurring risk.
But the movie industry will have to deal with reality sooner or later--better now, while the current business model still brings in tons of money as Steve Blank pointed out. They can afford the luxury of experimentation to the benefit of their shareholders, versus later when the truth becomes crystal clear to the public.
The truth, which all industries built on replicable human knowledge must face, is that information is a commodity in the age of the internet. It wants to move freely, and it will. For most of human history, information was corralled and controlled; money could be extracted by gatekeepers who controlled the medium. In the age of the internet, gatekeepers no longer have control. Networks attached to the internet are leaky--and information will take advantage of these leaks to move as it’s like air, hard to maintain in a vacuum of any scale. [cont'd.]