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Will Youtube kill Indie films?

Remarkably, my classes have crossed over. Finally!!! I'm in 3 econ classes right now so it's a pretty rare occasion (i.e. this is the only time it's happened. Ever. I'm nothing short of amazed.) We talked in class about what media executives' biggest worries should be right now -- the falling cost of producing and distributing digital media (e.g. YouTube) or piracy. According to Hal Varian, who Wikipedia calls "a central academic in the economics of information technology and the information economy," piracy is not nearly as big of a problem for media execs as cheaper technology.

buying music

with all the stuff we've been reading about piracy, downloads, p2p, this made me start thinking about my own music consumption habits. when I was younger, i was obsessed with collecting cds, for any birthday or christmas present I would ask people for CDs. Though I downloaded music, and would burn CDs from my friends or from the local public library (surprisingly good collection), I still ended up spending lots of money on buying CDs. I guess it was because when I was burning from others, that limited who I could listen to to artists other people had (Whom may not be the ones I'm interested in). With downloading, it was easiest to download who was the most popular. More obscure bands were difficult to find. Also, it may have been easy to download a few songs, but it was harder to find complete album using different P2P software. possible, but it took work. I also had some sort of code of ethics in what I would download or burn. For example, there were certain artists who I absolutely had to buy their album and not just have a burned copy. Movie soundtracks and other compilations I burned with no hesitance, because since they weren't albums and put together cohesively for artistic purposes

I like highlighting better than underlining

I just have a couple of things I've noticed in the reading that I want to expand upon briefly. First, is Siva's description of Diogenes, the Greek dude who he calls the first cynic, and says masturbated in the marketplace. He describes this man saying, "He engaged powerful people in playful debate, often exposing their hypocrisy" (25). Who does this sound like in our contemporary society? Why, none other than Sacha Baron Cohen. Through his many characters, including Ali G and Borat, he seems to be carrying on this cynical tradition (by Siva's definition). Every subsequent sentence describing the guy then sounds like it could be describing Ali G, and come on, if you heard that any celebrity had masturbated in the marketplace these days, wouldn't mind immediately jump to Baron Cohen. Hell, he sort of did it in the Borat movie. I just thought this was an interesting parallel.

20% drop in cds released?

So I'm a little behind on the reading, but I'm finding the chapter on piracy really interesting in Free Culture. It seems like Lessig really covers all his bases in terms of possible piracy excuses and rebuttals, and the distinction between piracy and file sharing.

For a while I've been trying to pin down my opinion of file sharing, and this chapter makes it much easier. The fact that the RIAA estimates that 803 million cds were sold in the same period that 2.1 billion cds were downloaded is either an overestimate or evidence that downloaded songs would NOT be bought otherwise (because revenue fell by 6.7%, not 100%). Lessig also makes a good point that several other factors could have contributed significantly to the drop in sales. The 20% drop in cds released between 1999 and 2002 blew me away. Why? WHY GOD??