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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

TV pilot thrives on P2P and the case MGM against Grokster

Grokster against MGM - and Grokster lost. Is this significant? The music industry surely declared victory and will continue to sue the networks that are build in a way that supports file-sharing over the Internet.

I have talked over and over again, that it doesn't make sense to stick to an old business model, especially since users don't see it as that bad. Basically, the case makes it also clear to them that them that the industry does not necessarlily has the interest of the user at heart. A vote at already shows that out of 4,057 online voters, 76.8% don't agree with the Supreme Court's decision in the Grokster case. While Internet voting has its disadvantages, this number also speaks loud and clear.

But while the industry is celebrating, it is interesting to see that yet another success story develops via file-sharing.

"A sacked TV pilot about a large number of people who stay in touch through an underground data network has popped up on ... well, an underground data network." And: "file eventually found its way into the BitTorrent network.

Over the last couple of weeks, enough people have downloaded and viewed the pilot online to give producers hope that TV executives might take a second look at the show."

As such, there is the decision of some people that reject a song, a show, a movie for whatever reason. They don't see the commercial potential for it.

But the Long Tail of the Internet shows that there is potential and success even for material that has been rejected earlier by just a few executives - up to the Grammy Award, since here the consumers decide and vote with their feet. The writer and executive producer of the show, Rogers, says "Now I have an extra 10,000 hits a week on my website, and I've got to figure out what to do here."

Will file-sharing go away? That is what the music industry hoped for when they pushed the early Napster out of business and levelled the way for Kazaa and similar.

Hilary Rosen , former Chairwoman and CEO of the RIAA, is also not so certain of the success anymore. She says the law suit and its outcome doesn't matter because : "now SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION copies of this software that the entertainment industry would like to vanquish have been downloaded to individual computers around the world. They go by names like Grokser, Morpheus, Limewire, eDonkey, Bit Torrent, Kazaa, etc.) And each time, there is a successful enforcement or a new way to catch the developers with copyright liability, they reinvent themselves and generate another two or three year court proceeding. And now, a majority of them are hosted outside the United States." She also states that the suit doesn't help innovation that much - in fact, the success of file-sharing networks shows that they are simply doing better. She sees the problem n non-combatibility of the different legal services available - speak ITunes, Napster (the legal version), Rhapsody etc. and their music selection is simply too small.

All consumers want is music and they risk being exposed by spyware and adware, in order to get what they want.

So it is obvious that the problem doesn't go away. There is a day after tomorrow and consumers will find a service that serves their need. Something that the music industry, and the movie industry still need to learn. If they still have the time to do so. Because may be one day they wake up and there are no consumers anymore that want to be served by them.

(By Asia Business Consulting)