Posts by Simon Holloway

  • Hard News: The Public Good,

    very large companies with very bright lawyers and very bright technical folks have seen the writing on the wall, and decided that getting their business model enshrined in law is the bet approach to protecting their investment.

    Why then the about face on DRM by EMI yesterday?

    And why is the body (RIANZ) that represented EMI to the select committee last week in NZ lobbying for more DRM?

    Looks more like a headless chicken to me.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Public Good,

    How do we collectively make contributions to terrestrial tv

    As far as I am aware it's now done direct from the tax pool- I guess I should have said state owned terrestrial TV, although NZOnAir funds programmes shown on other stations too.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Public Good,

    As far as I am aware it is possible for ISPs to see what percentage of traffic is p2p based on traffic via certain standard application ports, and, to my knowledge this has something to do with how they work out their TOC management (they limit bandwidth allocated to those specific ports). So, maybe it would be possible to levy p2p traffic via ISP- you'd be talking about 10c/month or whatever per user- the revenues would still be huge given the volume.

    Ben is right, it's hard to see why a subscription model would work on p2p software. The revenue collection has to be invisible to the consumer much in the same way publishing income is collected for artists via the performing right societies. I'm sure bars/venues pass on the APRA levy to consumers as a cost of good sold but I've never heard anyone complaining about that.

    Part of the problem here is that the recording industry has gone about dealing with this problem in possibly the most arse-about-face way they could have conceived of. In reality the problem has very little to do with their customers doing anything wrong- they're problably consuming more music than they ever have before.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Public Good,

    Tethering the entire www to such a reginme is both impractical and unjust.

    I remember reading an article in a local internet mag a few years back detailing exactly how to download the latest (insert NZ artist name) album "for free" complete with links to the p2p software and a step by step of how to download- written as a feature on NZ music! I thought at the time, would it be acceptable to write an article detailing how to break and enter your local Dick Smith after hours and pick up that appliance you wanted as a fun alternative to the normal retailing experience?

    There are lots of utilities and services that we collectively make contributions to so that we have the option of using them - terrestrial TV is probably an apt example to cite here.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Public Good,

    Granted it would probably have been a bit more hard work than 10 years sitting around doing nothing about it.

    I think if you tried to rebuild the performance right body models worldwide from scratch now you'd probably scratch your head and go no, too hard, as well.

    The level a levy would have to be at to recoup the lost revenue would be practically invisible to end users.

    If p2p traded files were trackable a micro payment system would be possible. If songs were freely available with no DRM pretty soon the majority of content would be orignating from the producers, not ripped and uploaded from consumers, and *ideally* would be identifiable as such.

    APRA doesn't know when/where every song that's been played has been played but their system works pretty well it seems to me and is probably, aside from live, where most (writing) musicians actually see a revenue stream. You would think the recording industry worldwide would have looked into some sort of equivalent for recorded music revenue.

    Subscription models look unlikely to work because of the demographic they're selling to- it's not Sky for fat dads on the couch is it?

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Public Good,

    As someone who works in the "music industry" I have been very interested to see the level of interest in this topic. On reading that ruinous bit of PR from RIANZ last week I initially emailed the following to the NZHerald reporters-

    "I wonder when someone might start looking into the possible link between the decline in revenue in the recording industry and the increase in that of internet service providers over the last decade. Consumers are still paying for music, it's just that intead of paying traditional music retail outlets they have been paying their ISP. The record industry's problem is that this wasn't acted on soon enough. A possible solution could have been micro payments levied from ISP traffic or licence fees similar to those employed by APRA, the collection society for music publishing income that collects and pays royalties based on radio, TV and public performance of music in NZ. If RIANZ had taken steps to alert government to this problem and the possible required regulation earlier they could have had the opportunity to be a world leader in offering a possible solution to loss of revenue due to file sharing. Instead, this present rear guard action, while commendable in intent, is probably of limited value in turning around the decline in revenue. Increased enforcement of DRM and chastising the customer are bad PR for RIANZ; what they should be doing for their members and represented artists is lobbying government to look into where the money has gone, steps that could be taken to correct the problem and possible retrospective reparation- such as agreements the big media companies in the US have recently come to with MySpace, YouTube and the like. [As a footnote- unfortunately, once the tap's been turned on you're going to have a hard job telling people they're going to have to go down to their local shop to buy their water- but hold on, that did happen in the 90's didn't it? The lack of marketing and brand innovation in the music industry is also a contributing factor in this issue, but that's another story.]"

    Also of note is that the lack of revenue from sales of overseas artists reduces the amount the local major labels can spend on NZ acts. You can have a top 10 album in NZ with about 300 sales in a week these days. That is not an exaggeration. You don't need to worry about how much the record co is or isn't making per unit at those sorts of sales levels- any way you look at it, it's uneconomic.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply