Friday, June 09, 2006

Poor Glickman

Dan Glickman agreed to debate John Perry Barlow about movie piracy on the BBC. Didn't he know he'd end up looking really, really bad? You've gotta wonder sometimes about the advice given to the MPAA by their PR people. Read the full interivew here, or just my favorite snippet:

"JPB: I've got good news and bad news and good news. And the good news is that you guys have managed to buy every major legislative body on the planet, and the courts are even with you. So you've done a great job there and you should congratulate yourself.

But you know the problem is - the bad news is that you're up against a dedicated foe that is younger and smarter that you are and will be alive when you're dead. You're 55 years old and these kids are 17 and they're just smarter than you. So you're gonna lose that one.

But the good news is that you guys are mean sons of bitches and you've been figuring out ways of ripping off audiences and artists for centuries....."

I've never met Dan Glickman, but a friend has and they told me he's actually a nice guy. I've been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it appears he is hopelessly confused about the potential economics of the internet. Says Glickman:

"It is ridiculous to believe that you can give product away for free and be more successful. I mean it defies the laws of nature."

Well Dan, you should talk to Rick Prelinger at Prelinger Archives. He made all of his content available for free, and his sales increased more than 40% defying all laws of nature. Or check out one of the numerous studies showing that free availability of music has had zero statistical effect on music sales.

The MPAA is going to keep fighting this war, and keep losing, for quite some time. It would be interesting to see them take their collective heads out of the sand and think about the possibilities of addressing the changes due to the internet, instead of reacting in a manner that alienates their consumers.

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