Since the days of Napster, the technosenti have been insisting that the entertainment industry simply needs to stop complaining about copyright theft and innovate. Setting aside the fact that exploitation is not a form of innovation, I like to remind people that with regard to filmed entertainment, the technology for reliable, high-quality streaming is about five years old, which may seem like decades to a Silcon Valley millionaire or an impatient 15 year-old, but is in reality not a very long time for any industry to transform itself. Nevertheless, this infographic released by the MPAA shows over 400 perfectly legal, high-quality streaming services now available worldwide. Netflix went from beating Blockbuster at the video rental game to investing in original TV production in the span of about five years. And it’s worth noting that unlike most web businesses, which are built on monetizing activity and content that already exists, film and television producers’ core business is still actually producing work that is labor-intensive in the first place. Does this mean that in order to have a rational discussion about piracy, the industry has to innovate faster?
© 2013, David Newhoff. All rights reserved.