Is the movie download business like the record business and should the lessons learned there be applied to movie and TV program downloads? Yes, says Frank Rose in Wired in an argument that seems a bit illogical:
The lessons from the music fiasco are clear: Trying to limit the inherent advantages of digital files is a losing strategy. The way to stop piracy is to make everything available — easily, legally, and at a fair price. But it's a lot of work to secure Internet rights to old films and TV series from writers, directors, composers, and the like, and the studios show little inclination to monkey around with their lucrative sales to premium channels like HBO — deals that don't affect DVD sales but are written in a way that can keep electronic distribution rights locked up for years. "There would be a lot fewer Mercedes pulling up to the Palm every day without those pay-TV deals," one exec quips. Right — but how many music moguls have you seen pulling up to the Palm lately?
If the music industry failed to monetize because of rampant piracy of a product that was provided on CDs without protection, and if the movie industry more successfully monetized by locking up content for a period of time on many channels, what's wrong with copy protection and DRM?