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Zachary Quinto’s squinty-face is due to him wondering how Paramount can be so durn dumb, I bet (Photo courtesy of the LA Times)

I have written quite a few times, in my own blog and as a regular poster on the (genuinely excellent tech review and commentary) site Gear Diary about the many stupidities of big media companies, and how many of their decisions increase rather than decrease the piracy they claim to fear so desperately.  I’m not going to rehash those arguments–you can google them up easily, and I think The Oatmeal sums them up perfectly in his cartoon about the unbelievable stupidity exhibited by HBO over “Game of Thrones” which, not to put too fine a point on, you quite literally can’t get legally in digital format for nearly a year after the episodes are broadcast unless . . . you subscribe to a cable company, and sign up for HBO, and sign up for HBO plus.  If HBO thinks that increases signup rates and decreases piracy, they’re deluding themselves.

But today’s rant comes to you courtesy of the upcoming DVD release of the new Star Trek movie.  Gigom notes in their excellent overview that the extras that you get for buying the Blu-ray release vary based on what store you buy them in, and also what country you reside in.  So if you want all the extras for that film–and believe me, I know plenty of Trekkies who will–you can either spend over a hundred bucks getting them legally by buying yourself multiple copies . . . or you can pirate.  And given that Trekkies are, as a group, fairly highly technically sophisticated, I’m guessing they’re not going to shell out more than a hundred smackers to line Paramount’s greedy-ass coffers, but rather will buy one copy and pirate the other extras on ThePirateBay.org or some other bittorrent site.  Because to do otherwise would be, frankly, stupid.

Bit media companies seem to operate based on two assumptions:  That their customers are deeply stupid, and that everyone wants to pirate and no one wants to pay.  Both these assumptions are fatally flawed, and the combination of them is what brings us to this pass, where media companies find their profit margins shrinking and respond by engaging in practices that will simultaneously drive up piracy and decrease their income.  Good plan, that, media companies!

You would think, nearly 20 years into the Web era, that big media companies would have learned how to adjust by now.  You would be wrong.

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