Posted by: Jon Fine on May 23, 2008
I am told by my close personal friends at Mediabistro that video excerpts of the onstage interview I did with author Nick Carr at this week’s Mediabistro Circus conference will be online soon.
I’ll link when so, because he was really interesting, and I’m terrible at taking notes while I’m onstage. He was also good enough to respond via email to a question commenter B. Burch submitted when I put up the what-should-I-ask? sign, a question I didn’t get the chance to ask him onstage.
Question and answer after the jump.
"Carr's argument doesn't make consolidation inevitable.
That being the case, all of the individualism and data sharing that is making the Web so powerful still contrasts with the an increasingly protectionist attitude of existing media leaders (DRM, copyrighted content).
Are we slowly progressing toward a collision course? Can the two be reconciled, or will one disappear?
It seems like DRM is the inevitable one to go away because there are so many individuals, but the media conglomerates have better lawyers. So which one is it?"
"I don't have any particularly original thoughts. I don't think we're slowly progressing toward a collision course; we're in the midst of the collision, and the copyright owners are taking most of the damage.
I think DRM in music will be largely abandoned, simply because proprietary copy-protection schemes - Apple's, in particular - constrain competition and innovation in the retailing of digital music, and spurring competition and innovation on the distribution end is in the best interest not only of consumers but of the record companies and the musicians.
Elsewhere, I think we'll continue to see widespread pirating, with copyright owners doing what they can to contain it. As a producer of copyrighted material myself, I wouldn't describe efforts to deter pirating as "protectionism." It's annoying, or worse, to see one's work stolen. On the other hand, I think our copyright laws have become overly onerous, so I also have some sympathy with those who seek to loosen them."