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Sony Pictures CEO Thinks the Net Wasn't Worth It 562

Posted by timothy
from the neither-was-coming-out-of-the-trees dept.
rossturk writes "Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said, 'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet, period.' Why? Because people 'feel entitled' to have what they want when they want it, and if they can't get it for free, 'they'll steal it.' It's become customary to expect a somewhat limited perspective on things from old-world entertainment companies, but his inability to acknowledge that the Internet has changed everything makes me think he's a very confused man. Is this when we all give up hope that companies like Sony Pictures can adapt? Will we look back on this as one of the defining moments when the industrialized entertainment industry lost touch for good?"
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Sony Pictures CEO Thinks the Net Wasn't Worth It

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  • 'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet, period.'

    Well then I trust you personally don't use it at all.

    It's become customary to expect a somewhat limited perspective on things from old-world entertainment companies.

    Relax, he's just one voice of a thousand at Sony.

    Is this when we all give up hope that companies like Sony Pictures can adapt?

    Frankly, I've got enough problems of my own to be concerned with their problems. It is and has been for quite sometime an adapt-or-die scenario for these guys. If they haven't figured it out, you won't see me shaking my fist up at the sky screaming "WHY!? Why couldn't you take me instead of Sony Pictures!?"

    This guy should talk to his own people more often--Sony's CEO and chairman Howard Stringer said in a recent interview [nikkeibp.co.jp]:

    Customers will refuse to accept it unless the technology is open. Youth in particular really dislikes closed technologies, closed systems and the like. I think the failure of AOL LLC of the US is good evidence of this. When the Internet was just beginning to spread, AOL boosted its subscriber base by providing special services only to its customers. After a while, though, customers began rebelling, complaining that they weren't children. Because AOL wanted to keep them locked up in a narrow portion of the immense Internet cosmos, open technology was created. Sony hasn't taken open technology very seriously in the past. Its CONNECT music download service was a failure. It was based on OpenMG, a proprietary digital rights management (DRM) technology. At the time, we thought we would make more money that way than with open technology, because we could manage the customers and their downloads. This approach, however, created a problem: customers couldn't download music from any Websites except those that contracted with Sony. If we had gone with open technology from the start, I think we probably would have beaten Apple Inc of the US.

    Instead of that kind of level headed talk we get to hear from Mr. All-My-Customers-Are-Criminals.

    Ride that ship to the bottom of the sea, Michael Lynton.

    • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:43PM (#27980973) Homepage
      Criminalize Customer: Their really does seem to have been a massive switch to this. The customer should really be the boss the only one a company should have to please. But it appears more and more like the big companies view customers as the enemy to be accused, lied to, and forced to pay them.
      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:50PM (#27981511) Journal
        Criminalize Customer: Their really does seem to have been a massive switch to this. The customer should really be the boss the only one a company should have to please. But it appears more and more like the big companies view customers as the enemy to be accused, lied to, and forced to pay them.

        You sound really naive. You think things used to be different? The same thing happened with the tape recorder, with the VCR, with the printing press. Capitalist companies have always been a small group of conspirators who view the population as sheep to be fleeced for their own benefit. That is the entirety of their motive. If they had a different motive, they would have chosen a different organizational structure. If they claim to have a different motive, but they didn't choose a structure that is more suited to a different motive, then they are lying.

        The Internet is doing something quite useful. It's slowly and painfully eroding our cultural of naivety, and that's a good thing. Unless you've got your hand in the cookie jar.

        Would you like a free rootkit with that CD? No? Tough shit.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        I think it's more the underlying arrogance to think that an industry that has existed in a meaningful sense for just over a century is more important than a series of advancements in communications technologies which has revolutionized most aspects of modern industrialized society.

        What it does paint is a picture of large corporate entertainment giants being run by short-sighted Luddites who will ultimately fail.

    • by Chmcginn (201645) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:43PM (#27980975) Journal

      1. Reject Technology

      2. Criminalize Customer

      3.???

      You're only supposed to use the ??? when the next step isn't obvious. Since 'Buy off legislatures to support your failing business model' has been their tactic for years, it's not a very secret step.

      • 1. Reject Technology

        2. Criminalize Customer

        3.???

        You're only supposed to use the ??? when the next step isn't obvious. Since 'Buy off legislatures to support your failing business model' has been their tactic for years, it's not a very secret step.

        Actually, step three was going to be "Sacrifice Month-Old Baby Bunnies on an Altar to Baal" but there seems to be a limit on the length of the subjects for these comments ...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:49PM (#27981021)
      Criminals... like hiding rootkits on CDs with no notice kind of criminals? I guess All-My-Corporations-Are-Criminals too.
    • by DeadDecoy (877617) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:50PM (#27981031)

      ' Why? Because people 'feel entitled' to have what they want when they want it, and if they can't get it for free, 'they'll steal it.'

      I do think there's an entitlement problem. I just think it's the other way around. You have these old dinosaurs of the industry who've been the gate keepers of media production for so long, they don't know how to react to a little competition. Think about it; some guys are probably out there running a torrent site at a loss, while using ad revenue to stay afloat. Meanwhile, these guys are sitting on the actual copies to the media don't even bother because 1) it will compete with their existing revenue model and 2) it's probably harder to justify 20-30$ to resell movie when your marginal costs are ~0$. Thing is, these guys will either have to take control of the distribution and make a profit of it, or someone else will.

      • Correct. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @06:34PM (#27982237)

        He doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet, because it hasn't lined his pockets with extra millions. Worldwide communication, everything a publisher, that's all nonsense. All that matters to him is that he hasn't seen an entry in his account that says "+ X Millions, Internet".

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:52PM (#27981043) Journal

      Instead of that kind of level headed talk we get to hear from Mr. All-My-Customers-Are-Criminals.

      Ride that ship to the bottom of the sea, Michael Lynton.

      Media distribution is essentially an oligopoly/cartel and 'shrinkage' used to be small and manageable.
      It used to be that theft = theft. Now theft = infringement.

      He's really just unhappy that the old distribution model is fucked because:
      1. the internet lowers the threshold for infringement and
      2. their distribution model (even with all the internet stuff they do) only partially meets consumer demands

      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:59PM (#27981089)
        No, theft has always been theft, and infringement has always been infringement. Legally they are, and for practical purposes always have been, two very different things. The fact that you did not understand copyright law does not mean anything has changed.

        Your point 2 is what everybody else has been saying: If they can't adapt, they can't adapt. Other companies have. But if they are unwilling to supply what the customers want, they have no special exemption from going out of business, just like everybody else who does not keep up with the times.
        • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:04PM (#27981121) Homepage Journal
          Everybody else like big banks & car companies?
        • by twidarkling (1537077) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:13PM (#27981185)

          Actually, I think he's saying that it's the companies that are saying "theft = infringement." Even if he isn't, I'm saying it now. You'll notice pretty much none of the *AA cases are focusing on "they stole" but "they're breaking copyright, thus infringing on our property." (or at least that's how they're presented in the media, which is as good as presenting the case that way, in the public's mind) Piracy's still theft. It's not "copyright infringement." Copyright was supposed to be about preventing others from using your work to their financial gain, thus reducing your profit. That's why derivative and fair use are in there as acceptable. Most pirates aren't out there selling the copies, they're acting more like a library, making the materials available for others to take. If you wanna liken it to criminal activity, it'd be someone shoplifting a DVD and then passing it around to all their friends to have a look. Most pirates are just simply missing the personal gain factor that would make it a true copyright infringement case.

          • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @05:39PM (#27981835)

            Copyright was never about preventing anybody from using another person's work for their own profit. There are in fact plenty of provisions for doing just that in Copyright law.

            Copyright is about preventing people from copying another person's work and distributing it for their own gain. It's a specific method of profiting from a work that is restricted. It's no accident that it happens to be the most direct and (usually) most profitable method of using a work, and it makes a lot of sense.

            It's built into the name, for one thing, but also it is very well established that copyright law grants the creator a (theoretically) limited monopoly on the distribution of their work. That's it. Once it has been legally distributed, copyright grants no control over the copy which was distributed. The person who recieved the copy can cross out parts, re-write parts, even make dozens of copies for themselves and then poop on them if they want. It's up to them as far as copyright law is concerned.*

            What they can't do is distribute their copies of the work without either having the copyright holder's express permission or making sufficient changes in the content to warrant an exception under the copyright code.

            Not one bit of that has to do with any kind of Piracy**, and the only way it should be called such is if the original copy was, in fact, stolen. If it was purchased legally, then you are dealing with copyright infringement, which is a crime (note that it is become more well established that recieving the illegal copy is not a crime, only the distribution of the copy is a crime). It is not, however, theft. The property was more than likely legally purchased originally, and then copied and distributed illegaly. Copyright infringement, not theft.

            You're off on your criminal analogy as well. There is nothing illegal about sharing a DVD with all your buddies. It's illegal to shoplift the initial DVD, but that isn't normally how things spread. Usually the DVD rips you find are from legally purchased copies, they are simply illegally distributed**. That's not theft, and it's a far cry from piracy.

            A real, honest to goodness analogy of what happens in the digital world with DVD rips and their distribution, would be sheet music. Often times sheet music is purchased legally, and then copied (via a copy machine) and distributed dozens of times. This happens a lot in school music programs, and most music teachers who do this don't realize that when they give little Johnny a photo-copy of Little Drummer Boy to take home and practice, they are committing a crime.

            It's -still- not theft. You don't go to jail for stealing the photocopied music, because you didn't steal anything. You copied it. You get sued for copyright infringement and have to pay shittons of money. And probably lose your job. But guess what? Such cases, where the works are illegaly distributed but not for direct profit, are hard to track down and usually aren't worth it. Sound at all familiar?

            We don't call clueless music teachers thieves or pirates, why the hell should we call DVD rippers thieves or pirates? They do break one more law than infringing music teachers, but it's still not theft in any way, shape, or form, and it sure as hell isn't any kind of piracy.

            I'm starting to get really sick of people calling copyright infringement, which has nothing to do with theft or piracy, theft and piracy. It's like calling a money launderer an arsonist. It doesn't make sense (unless that specific money launderer is in fact an arsonist as well, but that's different). The whole idea of it is buying into big media corporation bull shit to make their case sound more legitimate and scary. It's legit enough already, they just don't like how limited their rights are, and want more rights to control the content they distribute.

            Damn this rant went long.

            *There are other laws, like the DMCA, which DO dictate the use of a copy after it has been distributed, but that is not copyright,

          • You'll notice pretty much none of the *AA cases are focusing on "they stole" but "they're breaking copyright, thus infringing on our property." (or at least that's how they're presented in the media, which is as good as presenting the case that way, in the public's mind)

            They're going to court arguing for "copyright infringement" because that's how the law works. There is legally no such thing as "theft" of intellectual property. Colloquially there may be, as in "He stole my trade secret," but legally that translates to "He misappropriated my trade secret."

            On the other hand, in the media, they are very much trying to create a connection between infringement and theft. My take is that this is part of a larger push to equate intellectual property and property in the public's

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @05:26PM (#27981753) Homepage Journal

      This guy should talk to his own people more often--Sony's CEO and chairman Howard Stringer said in a recent interview [nikkeibp.co.jp]:

      Customers will refuse to accept it unless the technology is open. Youth in particular really dislikes closed technologies, closed systems and the like. I think the failure of AOL LLC of the US is good evidence of this. When the Internet was just beginning to spread, AOL boosted its subscriber base by providing special services only to its customers. After a while, though, customers began rebelling, complaining that they weren't children. Because AOL wanted to keep them locked up in a narrow portion of the immense Internet cosmos

      Instead of that kind of level headed talk we get to hear from Mr. All-My-Customers-Are-Criminals.
        Ride that ship to the bottom of the sea, Michael Lynton.

      Previously, Lynton had worked extensively on internet related matters. He was President, AOL International [wikipedia.org], and CEO, AOL Europe starting in 2000, where he was responsible for AOL Europe as well as for AOL operations in Asia and Latin America.

      Can't decide if this is hilarious or depressing :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:38PM (#27980933)

    This, presumably, from a free market wonk who thinks the law of supply and demand are best for everyone. Go ahead and meet the demands of your consumers, damn it!

    • Exactly. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by warrax_666 (144623) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:58PM (#27981079)

      "Oooh, I don't understand how this newfangled Internets works, so let's just say it's eeeeeevil!"

      When will they stop these dinosaurs from running the industry?

      • Re:Exactly. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by couchslug (175151) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:27PM (#27981291)

        "When will they stop these dinosaurs from running the industry?"

        Aside from the generational die-off you young'uns out there need to thin your own herd to stop these shitbags from respawning.

        The kids tripping on acid during the Summer of Love mostly turned into fear-freaks who relentlessly elected NeoCon Evangeliban to office.

        If you want something different, be something different and don't sell out. Take the ideological fight to the enemy. It ain't just about downloading mass-produced pop culture shit you shouldn't want anyway... :)

        • The kids tripping on acid during the Summer of Love mostly turned into fear-freaks who relentlessly elected NeoCon Evangeliban to office.

          This is a generational cliché. The 'Summer of Love' was 1967 and at that time there were no kids tripping. LSD didn't hit the American high schools throughout the country in a big way until the early 1970s. There is still a lot of debate about just how this managed to happen, but it did.

          The number of people involved in the hippy count

    • by MikeFM (12491) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:58PM (#27981081) Homepage Journal

      As someone who makes a living selling things online I have to think the Internet is pretty good. Of course competitors and even some manufacturers don't like the Internet because it cuts margins and makes it hard to maintain dealer areas.

  • Oh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:39PM (#27980937) Journal

    ,'I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet, period.'

    I say we spam him with goatse until he repents.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:40PM (#27980939) Homepage

    I know how he feels about entitlements, really.

    Some people have unbelievable ideas about what they're entitled to. When I find an artist who actually believes he's deserves to be paid until death + 70 years, then I get that same feeling, like nothing worthwhile ever came out of that artist. At least nothing without a rancid aftertaste.

    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:02PM (#27981113)
      It's not the artists who lobbied for life + 70 years, it was the labels. Disney, in fact, was one of the biggest pushers of this change, because lots of Mickey Mouse cartoons were due to pass into the public domain. They couldn't have that! So Michael Eisner (and some friends) went to work on Congress to change the law.
      • by twidarkling (1537077) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:15PM (#27981201)

        Yep. Disney's the one pushing the hardest for extensions in the US. Every time Mickey's about to go public, they get another 20 years tacked on.

        Talk about your mickey mouse laws...

      • by obarel (670863) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @05:09PM (#27981631)

        Not exactly true. Artists such as Ian Anderson and Cliff Richard wanted to extend copyright to 95 years in the UK.

        I stopped listening to Jethro Tull when I heard Ian Anderson talk about copyright. I have quite a few albums, but I feel sick whenever I think of this millionaire crying how he's being robbed, not by pirates, but by copyright laws.

        I'm happy he's made a lot of money from his talent (better than making money by fraudulent banking), but trying to extend his copyright while stealing Bach's Bourree in E minor is a bit hypocritical (and I'm sure that wasn't the only piece for which he needed some "inspiration", just like any other artist - be it a writer, a poet, a painter or a composer).

  • Sony Loosing Ground (Score:5, Informative)

    by lobiusmoop (305328) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:40PM (#27980943) Homepage

    Given that Sony recently posted its first loss in 14 years [bbc.co.uk], I think perhaps it is time for them to get with the new modes of media distribution instead of keeping its head in the sand and decrying them.

  • Ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:41PM (#27980945) Homepage Journal

    I find it quite ironic that this was said by a CEO in Sony, a company that came to its riches and fortunes by facilitating copying. Sonitape was the sneakernet of the 50s.

  • Bawwwww (Score:3, Informative)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:41PM (#27980951) Homepage

    Why do things have to change?

  • by bheer (633842) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reehbr>> on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:41PM (#27980953)

    What have the Romans ever given us in return?
      -- The aqueduct.
      -- And the sanitation!
    All right, I'll grant you that the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done...
      -- And the roads...
      -- Irrigation...
      -- Medicine... Education... Health...
      -- And the wine...
      -- Public baths!
      -- And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now.
    All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?
      -- Brought peace!
    What!? Oh... Peace, yes... shut up!

    Someone should really update this for the internet. And immortalize this idiot's name as the dunce who asked the question...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:38PM (#27981389)

      What has the Internet ever given us in return?
          -- Porn!
          -- More porn!
      All right, I'll grant you that porn is one thing the internet has given us...
          -- Porn!
          -- Porn!
          -- Porn!
          -- Porn!
          -- Porn!
          -- Porn!
      All right... but apart from porn, porn and more porn, what has the internet ever given us?
          -- Porn!
      What!? Oh... Porn, yes... shut up!

  • by stox (131684) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:41PM (#27980959) Homepage

    They used to make quality products, not so much anymore. My latest experience is the last straw. Last year, I purchased a Sony navigation unit. I soon found that the maps were outdated, and missing major landmarks, and even an Interstate highway that had opened the year before. Support assured me that the next update would solve these problems. Well, after many months, an update has finally been released for the mere price of $99. So, in other words, Sony wants me to pay another $99 to fix what was broken from the time they built the unit. I consider it a lesson learned, and will not longer purchase Sony products.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:00PM (#27981095)

      I stopped buying sony about 2 or 3 years ago. around the time the rootkit stuff came out, the bad oem batteries, the sony vs sony vs the rest of the world (is sony making cd recorders AND music? which sony are we to listen to, then?)

      their bd is a DRM nightmare that I won't ever fund (blanks, burners, readers, etc - I want NO part of any of it).

      about 10 yrs ago, sony was 'the shit' to have. now its the shit NOT to have; or rather, its the company NOT to fund.

      they don't get it, they haven't 'gotton it' for a long time. sony has chosen sides and its not the side I'm not, so I boycott them. until they change their tunes, so to speak.

    • by Smitty825 (114634) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:01PM (#27981107) Homepage Journal
      I agree. I've had some other sony devices that didn't live up to their billing. They've really become the GM of the electronics industry. They were once a great company that made lots of really high-quality products, but have lost their focus and now are approaching irrelevancy.
    • by Archaemic (1546639) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:15PM (#27981213)

      I know I've given up on Sony laptops at least. I purchased a Sony Vaio SZ right as it was released, hoping it would be a good lightweight laptop that also delivered some power so that I could play at least some Windows games (when I was booted into Windows and not Linux, of course, which doesn't happen very often).

      As soon as we ordered it, the warranty started ticking. If they had shipped the laptop as soon as we ordered it, that would not have been that bad. But they didn't. For about a month we waited for it to ship, because one part was consistently out of stock. Please, make sure you have the parts for your laptop in stock when you release it, okay Sony?

      Well. Finally, it shipped. Okay, so now I have one month less on my warranty than I should. No. This is not the end of my story. Yes, it continues. When it arrived, with its brand new Core Duo processor, I popped open the task manager in Windows because it was acting funny and laggy. Wouldn't you know it, one of the cores was constantly being consumed by some unknown process. It hadn't been shipped with a virus--rather, the motherboard was defective on arrival. Yet more time I have to go without this laptop! So we shipped it back, and they eventually got back to us with a working motherboard. All was good, right?

      Yeah, my story still isn't over. Come February of the next year, my battery just stops working. It's no longer recognized by the OS. At all. Well, okay, we have an extended warranty. But it's still under warranty. Right? Wrong. The battery was under a different warranty, which had just expired. Fine, okay, this is getting absurd, but I'll buy another outrageously priced battery. I have a laptop, after all? Come 362 days later, the battery dies AGAIN. Fortunately, this time around, I had a warranty on the battery (for three more days). Well, okay. This is getting suspicious.

      Wouldn't you know it. The next year (this year), the battery died again. Very little research told me that this happens to EVERYONE. Right after the warranty expires (hopefully for Sony)...

      Well yeah, in the mean time, I'd bought a new laptop from Apple and had no problems with it, so I didn't bother to replace the $200 battery again. I'm never buying a Sony laptop again. I think I had more problems that I've forgotten in the 3 years since I got the laptop, so this rant may be incomplete.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @06:36PM (#27982245)

        Not trying to discount your story, I think the problem is BS and the companies are selling products with known failure problems and not making that clear, but the battery issue is industry-wide. Every company that uses a traditional li-ion battery that has been stretched to capacity limits has severe failure issues. Most new Dell batteries are the same way (which happen to be manufactured by Sony, btw). That particular branch of li-ion was maxed a long time ago, and instead they began to make tradeoffs of longevity for initial capacity. They begin to lose capacity slowly after the very first charge.

        The thinner materials used in these batteries, which create more surface area and thus more capacity, also deteriorate much more quickly. The average fail rate* is about 1 year, but it can be much earlier (I've seen 6 months on a laptop with very heavy use and many many charges), so you'll never see more than a one year warranty on one of these batteries.

        Newer li-ion, like the li-polymer types don't have the deterioration issues, but also don't have the same capacity yet. Though they are close. Unfortunately you have to be on the ball to get your battery replaced, as they fail like clockwork after 1 year with normal use. Frankly, I'd recommend doing anything you can to abuse that battery to make sure it fails within the 1 year period so you can get it replaced. If you try to be good to your Sony battery, you'll be left out in the cold when it doesn't fail till a year and 3 days after you got it.

        *By fail rate I mean the battery capacity is so poor as to make it unuseable. It is usually accompanied with a battery end of life message, suggesting replacement.

  • by oberondarksoul (723118) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:46PM (#27981005) Homepage
    As we all know, nothing may ever legally be distributed for free on the Internet, or in fact, anywhere. If it's not distributed by a record label, film company, or major software company, it is inherently pirated and of no value to any person and should be destroyed immediately for all our own good. Only by buying good, wholesome entertainment and software products will we be preserving the jobs which every industry worker deserves by divine right of kings. Or something.
  • I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdamHaun (43173) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:47PM (#27981009) Journal

    Obviously the idea that nothing good has come from the internet is total nonsense. But I have a hard time disagreeing with this:

    people 'feel entitled' to have what they want when they want it, and if they can't get it for free, 'they'll steal it.'

    because that's exactly the attitude I hear. Maybe that's just the way things are going to be from now on, but it does bother me that so many people consider not getting a product to be an unacceptable response to terms they don't like. I guess *I* must be getting old...

    • Re:I dunno... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rebullandvodka (569646) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:07PM (#27981157)
      This is refrain. The music industry attempts to apply its business model to the internet, gets burned, and accuses their customer base of not playing fair. Clearly there are ways to make money from the internet, just not the way the media giants want to make it. The cat is out of the bag. There is no choice but to adapt. Innovate or go out of business.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AdamHaun (43173)

        I'm not saying that the music industry deserves to live or that their business model will work. I'm saying that, of the two ways to not give them money (don't acquire product or acquire it illegally for free) people prefer the latter regardless of whether it's really more in line with their principles or not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by russotto (537200)

      because that's exactly the attitude I hear. Maybe that's just the way things are going to be from now on, but it does bother me that so many people consider not getting a product to be an unacceptable response to terms they don't like. I guess *I* must be getting old...

      That begs the question of whether or not those dictating the terms have the right to do so. The MPAA asks why you'd download a movie if you wouldn't steal a car or various other tangible items, but more to the point is the question of why s

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twidarkling (1537077)

      My problem is they feel entitled to charge the same price for a digital copy as a hard copy, when obviously they're making magnitudes more profit on digital sales. You need to make one copy of the file available, and then a smackload of bandwidth, vs. pressing thousands of DVDs, cases, packaging, shipping, etc. Charge me more for regular def vs. high-def files, since it's more bandwidth, and takes higher-tech equipment on the front end, fine. But if I'm buying it and downloading it, rather than getting a ph

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AdamHaun (43173)

        None of which has really anything to do with my comment... why is it that every time I post something like this I get ten comments along the lines of "here's why I hate the RIAA/MPAA"? I know why you hate them. I've been on Slashdot for over a decade. I've heard it all before.

        Sorry, I guess that doesn't have anything to do with you in particular. As for this:

        If your customer base feels entitled, figure out why

        I strongly suspect that what's really going on is that people just like free stuff and the more int

    • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:56PM (#27981565) Homepage Journal

      And we think we're entitled to it because we are. Humans are inherently creative and all art and science is derivative. It is our human right to improve on what has gone before. It cannot be prevented regardless of what the law says.

      So if they won't offer us what we want we'll take it anyway. It's not that people aren't willing to pay - it's that they're not willing to sell. But we'll have our progress whether they'll sell it or not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arthurh3535 (447288)
      The problem is that the non-competitive part of copyright has been grossly expanded so that it is unjustly monopolizing those industries. And the recording industries want to keep trumpeting things like this, because its the only way they know how to make money.

      But piracy exists because of out of control prices and control. If the movie and recording industries actually tried to lower their prices to match what people feel is the value, they would see more. But they are stuck in their inflated worth and fe
    • Re:I dunno... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by macemoneta (154740) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @06:03PM (#27981977) Homepage

      I'm old too, but I think I understand. Time for a car analogy:

      If you're strolling down the street, and you come upon a car dealership that is offering free cars, would you accept one? You may not be in the market for a car, but... it's free!

      Then you discover that the dealer is actually creating duplicates with a "Star Trek"-type duplicator. He buys one car from a manufacturer, and duplicates them. Is that illegal? The manufacturer says yes. The law says the duplication infringes on the manufacturer's intellectual property, but there's no case law on you accepting the free duplicate (yet). As long as you're not making cars for other people, it *might* not be illegal to accept one. It's all unclear.

      So, do you take the free car? Most people would, I think.

      They're not going to see the movie, but if it arrives at their home for no additional charge... Why not? If you're not uploading, you're not infringing (maybe).

      Then there's the whole illegal doesn't always mean right. It was illegal for women to vote, or for non-whites to be treated equally; should people not have opposed that because it was the law? Is it right for copyright holders to have a life-long control over their creations, when they were built on the creative efforts of their predecessors? Why is "borrowing" creative content illegal now, when it was legal before? That's how the current content owners got their ideas, why can't another generation do the same?

      This is all a very muddy issue to me, legally, ethically and morally. The content industries are trying very hard to make it a clear cut issue, but you just have to do a little reading on the subject to see that it's not the case.

      In fact, the entire U.S. movie industry got its start infringing on the copyrights and patents of the time. It seems like a pretty unethical stance to say it was OK for them, but it's not for anyone else.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xigxag (167441)

      Except that it is productive to examine this entitlement attitude in detail. Because people don't generally think they're entitled to free cars and free Wiimotes. What's the difference between those things and what Sony offers? For one, if I could duplicate a car for free, you'd damn well believe that I'd never pony up $20K for the same item. But I can't -- the only way for me to get hold of a car without depriving someone else is to buy one. A car, even if its blueprints and schematics were open source

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:47PM (#27981011)

    It's really about entertainment in digital form. Record companies and movie studios have made tremendous profits from the transition from analog to digital.

    In particular, music companies were able to sell CDs that cost less to manufacture than vinyl disks and charge significantly more for them. They were also able to release CDs of older music that otherwise would not be repurchased.

    In recent years they've suffered from the other consequences of digital media (e.g. the ease of copying). Yet on balance, digitization has been a net positive for their bottom line.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:07PM (#27981153)

      they have run out of 'product'.

      the music today sucks. and cd audio is good enough for 99% of the people out there - yet the industry invented new forms of audio, 'rich' in drm (true-hd and dts master crapola). there is NOTHING sonically better that MATTERS for movies yet we are told we have to re-buy things all over again.

      blatant money grab. don't fall for it. boycott bd, hd-dvd and any new audio formats that aren't open.

      and dont' EVER mix audio and video. keep your hdmi 'clean' of audio and use regular spdif for audio (its open and drm-free).

      don't re-buy your 5.1 stereo - DD5.1 will be here for decades and won't be going away any time soon. resist the 'urge' to fill the bank accounts of music execs (and equipment makers!) trying to get you to re-re-buy things time and time again.

      yes, the cost of making cd's (even 10 yrs ago) was a fraction of pressing a vinyl album yet they charge MORE for cd.

      the industry has taken us for a ride for a long time. payback time - boycott their stuff and have them feel financial pain.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by damburger (981828)

        Good call.

        What, if anything, they are losing now is a fraction of what they've ripped from us with the format treadmill. Let the fuckers bleed.

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @06:03PM (#27981985) Homepage

          Yes. What's really come to an end is the format treadmill.

          People already have works legally in their position that are of sufficient
          quality. Those works can be transformed into any new format by the end user.
          The media industry is no longer required for this.

          Sure, there might still be some things you want to get on Bluray but there
          is hardly the compelling need there.

          Sony's sh*tting their pants not over the fact that I can copy their movie
          and give it to my friends but that I can copy their movie and own a copy
          of it in perpetuity and play that on my 60" TV.

          Soon, you will be able to have multiple copies of hundreds of DVD's scattered
          about the house as casually as you might for a similar sized Music collection.
          You will have built in redundancy. Even if your house burns down, you will
          very likely never need to buy your stuff over again.

          Paul McCartney will never make any money from me ever again not because I am
          a pirate but because I am a paying customer with a really big RAID array.

  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:48PM (#27981015)

    That's right, the net has increased competition.. the customers feel "entitled" to companies catering to them by providing product to them in the form and price they want, and will find what they want through black marets should we refuse to provide it.

    "the customers feel "entitled" to the product they want at the price they want, and now have a way to get it when we don't want to provide it, and we don't like that" - Sony Pictures.

  • Capitalism can't produce common goods. Internet would've never had existed if it weren't for the US government. It was created in an academic environment, by passionate people that cared about the advance of technolog (indirectly: of mankind). Internet advanced quickly, different protocols appeared, once replacing the other (Gopher, SMTP, HTTP, POP, IMAP, NNTP, etc.).

    Then the companies came. Those set of protocols froze, some began to fade. Companies didn't care about "what's right". They didn't care about advance the network. The HTTP/1.0 -> 1.1 transition took years, and still hasn't finished (e.g. http pipelining). IMAP mail stalled, and got replaced by webmail. Multicast was never deployed at large. Newsgroups got replaced by phpbb.

    These companies hate Internet. If they praise it, it's only when they realize they can't afford to ignore it (or destroy it).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rcastro0 (241450)

      >Capitalism can't produce common goods.

      Yes it can. Capitalism is the most efficient producer of common and uncommon goods mankind has ever devised. It is also the system most compatible with free choice and democracy. Do you want to move to Cuba? Go ahead...

      >Internet would've never had existed if it weren't for the US government.

      As surely as the airplane would've never had existed if it weren't for the wright brothers [wordpress.com].

      >It was created in an academic environment, by passionate people that cared about

  • Translation: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Schnapple (262314) <`tomkidd' `at' `viatexas.com'> on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:50PM (#27981029) Homepage
    "I work in an industry where the way we make money is to rigidly and tightly control the flow of information. You didn't get to see the movie unless you paid for it. You didn't get to listen to the music unless you paid for it. Sure, people could dub VHS tapes or buy a bootleg or record things on cassettes, and we fought these things, but they were the exceptions. Now, thanks to the Internet and the free flow of information we don't make as much money as we used to because now it's easy to share information. Rather than adapt or maybe realize that our earnings are going to go down, I'm just going to wish the Internet didn't happen so I can go back to the glory days. Or maybe I'll send off for that time machine I see advertised in that magazine."
  • Why? Because people 'feel entitled' to have what they want when they want it, and if they can't get it for free, 'they'll steal it.'

    *A panting Michael Lynton enters his boardroom with Sony's Chairmembers*
    Michael Lynton: *gasping for breath* I'm sorry I'm late. But I was just down in the store and I had to confiscate this.
    Chairman One: Is that ... is that a Blu-Ray copy of Spiderman?
    Michael Lynton: Yes, I had to confiscate it from a "customer" ... it had it in its hand as it was leaving the store.
    Chairman One: The customer stole it? We have the finest security in place ...
    Michael Lynton: No, far worse than that. The customer held up the product and said to me, 'Hey, Mr. Lynton, it's bullshit I have to pay $30 for this after paying $15 to see it in the theater.' At which point I realized that it intended to give this away through the internet to all of his friends.
    *pauses for seriousness*
    Michael Lynton: Then I tackled him and I just saved us one trillion dollars in lost profits.
    Chairman Two: Mr. Lynton, we might have a problem if that person paid for this copy of Spiderman.
    Michael Lynton: No, you don't understand, he had a shirt indicating he used the internet. If that isn't a red flag, I don't know what is. All of them are criminals just looking at us with their beady little eyes trying to figure out how to steal from us.
    Chairman Three: Sir, are you feeling alright?
    Michael Lynton: I'm feeling great, I just saved us money. You know, I saw someone on the street the other day and they were fat and pasty white and I knew then that they used the internet. So I drove them down with my car.
    Chairman Four: That was you on Channel Nine News last night ...
    Michael Lynton: Oh please, grow up, this is business and business means war. Now, I think that if we act quickly we can hit the customer with viruses in the rootkit no one's found on our Blu-Ray media. The time is upon us to put an end to the customer once and for all, people. Think of your children! Wait a second, why do you all look confuse? Oh my god, you're all them ... you're all cu ... customers! How could I have been so blind? No wonder we are losing this war! SECURITY!

  • by el_jake (22335) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @03:55PM (#27981053)
    "I'm a guy who doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet, period." Huh? Well you have failed your shareholders miserable Mr. SONY CEO. Most of the economy is based on businesses doing business using The Internet. I think it's time for the Mr. Sony to sack Mr. CEO for total failure and having such a profound view of what good business really is. No wonder the recording industry is left behind in the net economy. *sigh*.
  • Can't blame him... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Udigs (1072138) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:05PM (#27981127)
    It's like the five stages of grief:
    1. Denial -- New formats! They will protect everything!
    2. Anger -- RIAA! Arrest all the students!
    3. Bargaining -- Hulu? Please?
    4. Depression -- You are here.
    5. Acceptance.

    Me thinks he's at stage 4, right now.

    BUT just because his entire business is evaporating out from under him because everyone wants his products yet does not want to pay for them doesn't necessarily make him "out of touch."

    It's challenging. And at the end of the day someone has to foot the bill. Or, the products need to go away. Unlike an album, movies cost millions and millions to make. As such, the costs just don't lend themselves to being covered with "internet" strategies like micro-payments and such. It's a crazy state of affairs.

    And don't get me wrong: I hate all of this RIAA shit too. It's kinda like the stages of grieving.
  • He's mostly right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robvangelder (472838) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:13PM (#27981187)

    He's mostly right, except for the bit about free.

    Honestly, I'd pay somewhere between $1.00 and $2.50 for a movie, if it were HQ-5.1 and instant play, like youtube.

    Because it's more convenient to download a movie, and play it on my media player than aquire and load a DVD, so I choose that medium.

    The movie producers leave me little option than to download illegally.

    Yes, I've seen the stores, their selection sucks.

  • by ZiakII (829432) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:14PM (#27981191)
    No wonder he hates the internet, he was the former president of AOL International.
  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:16PM (#27981219) Homepage Journal
    Hurting the entitled elite is always going to be seen as bad. Do you think the drunken nobles of England welcomed the civil list? And any conservative must hate the taxing of the queen. What is next? 15% of real income instead of 30% of an artificially low adjusted income?

    Here is a technology that absolutely redistributed wealth away from the lazy. Persons that can innovate today love it. People who are living off innovations two and three generations old will hate it. The hard working want to let it progress to revitalize the world. The entitled want to regulate it and make it benefit only those selected by the elite.

  • I May Agree (Score:3, Funny)

    by afabbro (33948) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:17PM (#27981225) Homepage

    I don't agree that nothing good has come from the Internet.

    However, I haven't yet decided if there is an overall net benefit. I suspect that the cons outweigh the pros. I'm referring to the entirety of the impact of the Internet

    Of course, it's purely an academic speculation, since it's not going away.

  • Here's a short list of things he doesn't think are important:

    • Posting of evidence of government wrongdoing that could otherwise be surpressed
    • Posting of corporate wrongdoing to reach a wider audience
    • Ability for home bound people to interact with society
    • Directions to a location you are not familiar with
    • Coordination of grassroots protests
    • Job hunting
    • Multiplayer computer games
    • Research
    • Easy exchange of documents
    • Family and friends separated by wide distances able to communicate
    • pr0n

    Yeah, I guess he's right. The internet is useless.

  • by fygment (444210) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:27PM (#27981295)

    He's Right that:

    I do feel entitled to download everything I've already paid for. I will not pay for the e-version of a book I own or that is out of print. I will not pay again for a record/tape/CD I already own. And I will not pay full hardcover price for an ebook, full price for a CD with only one or two desired songs, nor hesitate to view/obtain a movie for free to avoid escalating cinema costs.

    He's Wrong about the Internet:

    The Internet galvanized the public, academia, and industry into pushing the bounds of technology. It has precipitated a technological growth from which the entertainment industry has benefited handsomely. Production quality has increased while its costs have decreased. Dissemination of entertainment has, thanks to the internet (and peripheral technologies), been able to greatly expand markets, enhance product marketing, tune the delivery of content, and all for a lower cost. And I still buy DVD's and CD's and go to cinemas when I think they are worth the price.

    He Doesn't get that:

    The audience aren't inherently criminals, they simply want a fair price for a product. And until the entertainment industry accepts that, then the audience will seek fairness by any means possible.

  • Retarded (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:28PM (#27981305) Homepage Journal
    He can go fuck himself.
    I mean, really. Does the fact the internet broke their shitty business model really make it worthless?
    What an asshole to even say such I thing. I'd rather be without anything Sony ever made than be without the internet.
  • by Ektanoor (9949) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:41PM (#27981415) Journal

    Why Internet? Let's go into the era when things started really wrong.

    Sony should have scrapped in first place its support for PC - the CD drivers and MOSTLY the monitors.

    Why Sony sold CD drives? They were cheap, they were powerful, they gave HUNDREDS of megabytes to the nefarious, poor scum of PC users. Sony should have pushed for a complete, all-scale proprietary architecture. NO customer fingers inside the box, like the Mac.

    AND THE MONITORS! In the very beginning of the PC revolution, Sony monitors were in high demand for cheap graphics, including 3D. Who gave thousands the first taste that one can do something pretty on a dumb, awkward, slummy open architecture PC? The great 3D cards came later btw. Sony should have shot the guy who thought Trinitron was good for the PC.

    But Sony didn't do it. And worse, you went into the wave. Sony supported the base that scrapped X25, Frame Relay and Microsoft's proprietary network (does anyone remember it?) More, Sony started to give Internet a chance!

    Why Sony introduced a Ethernet port into PS2? Why? Sony pushed over the edge even those who didn't know what a PC was. No Ethernets! Some TwistedNet with a direct port into some hardcore encryption chip. Better, NO networks at all! Just console boxes and millions would never had jump into Internet. Ten years ago, a huge mass of people still thought that PCs were thinking machines, Internet a parallel Universe and console games what the world shall be.

    But Sony could not stop itself. It closed eyes to the Pirate Harbour of Linux. It even supported it. It started to use codecs to distribute clips of its ever loving blockbusters... There were lots of things Sony could have done and Internet would never be a headache.

    It could have just kept us on the cassetes anyway.

  • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:48PM (#27981481) Homepage Journal

    It happens that the Net thinks Sony Pictures wasn't worth it too.

    So the feeling is mutual.

  • Sony sucks anyways (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Is0m0rph (819726) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:52PM (#27981527)
    After all the crap they've pulled with root kits, proprietary media, etc. this just adds one more reason not to support them. I haven't bought anything from Sony in many years and won't in the future.
  • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @04:57PM (#27981571)
    Some of their online music departments have embraced Drupal in a big way for artists sites. Some people do "get it", just not those who see their profit / control bottleneck being burst wide open. Granted they have a long history of doing crazy proprietary shit instead of embracing standards but who knows, perhaps over the years the Drupal people can be influential to other departments to embrace the internet rather than fear it. How many technologies can one company create their own failed versions of before the ROI is seen as an epic fail? I'm guessing that ROI has a higher standard to meet in the current climate too.
  • by Draek (916851) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @05:24PM (#27981741)

    to call humanity's second greatest invention since Mathematics(*) itself useless. We're talking about a technology that allows Joe Average in the US to send a message to Juan Promedio in Spain in less time it took you to read this paragraph for a total cost of less than a cent. Think about that for a minute, and realize all the possibilities this opens up for humanity as a whole.

    It may have some problems, yes, but anyone who says that nothing good has ever come out of it is either a complete idiot, someone with an agenda or as is probably the case here, both.

    (*)If you're wondering what's on first place, you're reading this post on one.

  • Entitlement... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chris Snook (872473) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @07:24PM (#27982647)

    The CEO of the studio that released "The Pink Panther 2" is in no position to lecture anyone about a sense of entitlement. The Onion's commentary on this is barely even satire at this point:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/vindictive_movie_studio_threatens [theonion.com]

  • by Budenny (888916) on Saturday May 16, 2009 @10:54PM (#27983827)

    Their problem is, they think the Internet is about something they call'content'. They really do not get it. What the Internet did was to abolish the relevance of the concept of content. Ask yourself, is Twitter 'content'? Or ask Sony, more like.

    Something similar is happening with open source software. As in the famous cases of school teachers confiscating copies of Linux. Its hard during revolutions.

  • by argent (18001) <<moc.agnorat.6002.todhsals> <ta> <retep>> on Sunday May 17, 2009 @12:44AM (#27984345) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like he'd get along well with Ken "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home." Olsen.

  • historical analogy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Max_W (812974) on Sunday May 17, 2009 @02:11AM (#27984691)
    Until 15th century, until an invention of printing press, books were extremely expensive. One book cost more than several cows. A book was written by hand then, pictures in a book were drawn also by hand.

    Printing press made books dirt cheap. But not all was good about it. The first bestselling author was Martin Luther.

    Printing press appeared in 1440, the Martin Luther's first bestseller appeared in 1517, 77 years after.

    The result was reformation and religious wars. Internet is only about 15 years old. What will happen 77 years after its invention?

    But something will happen for sure, as the change in the base does cause changes in the social and economical relations. Sony and the likes' problems are the smallest part of it. The whole thing will change, as the invention is so fundamental. Hopefully there will be no analogs of reformation wars though, which, as I wrote already, were also caused by an invention and its widespread adoption.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"

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