There’s a lot of finger pointing going on these days. Newspapers, recording companies, photographers and other businesses are simply going out of business. Some of these companies have been in business for over 100 years! What happened?
Well, there’s a lot of pointing towards the Internet as the problem. From my perspective that’s a lot of bull or just plain shortsightedness on the pointer’s part. The Internet may well be one of the greatest innovations known to man. Once you know how to use it and you’ve also developed a good filter system for information, you’ve basically tapped into all the knowledge in the Universe as we know it.
So how can something so good be so bad for many? One of the things the Internet brought with it was a “consolidation of the media”. Rather than going to a record store to get your music and a newspaper stand to get your paper you had a new option to get it all from one place, the Internet. Placing an ad was no longer a pain and you could also get instant results from the Internet. Need a nice image to put in your email to your girlfriend or boyfriend? Surf the web until you see one you like and just take it. “Save as” and it’s yours.
So the examples just given were all examples of multimedia and its branches. If these different branches of multimedia would have seen themselves as one and had they gone to Congress with the purpose of establishing a statutory rate on all multimedia downloads from the Internet, (easily measurable) my instincts tell me they would have been a huge success. Why? Because Congress would have loved to keep it so simple and still achieve such huge positive results for those concerned. Let those concerned bang out the particulars. Let’s, (Congress) do our part in providing growth potential via the Internet for these multimedia industries and move on to other things.
Instead we got this quagmire of confusing amendments to old rules, new rates that take a degree in quantum physics to figure out, new fragmented copyright rules that benefit some and piss off the rest of us and all because the multimedia branches still refuse to see themselves as one!
The day will come when that perspective will prevail. The wireless industry gets it. Let’s subscribe to their lead and start righting the wrongs that came about because we were too selfish and fragmented in trying to monetize media from the Internet.
We are at a similar benchmark moment with data infrastructures, data applications and data products that we were at in the middle 90’s with the Internet. This time, can we, (multimedia players) all get along? Can we unite?
If we do, we will thrive. If we don’t, we will not survive.