|Surely thinking about (bad) |
copyright and innovation:
Katfriend, photographer and copyright owner
Douglas McCarthy's Pushkina
The obsessive (well, sort of) question has arisen following a bit of reflection on the (quite trite) universally acknowledged wisdom that good copyright laws might favour innovation and growth. But can the contrary also be true? In other words, can there be innovative (and lawful) services which develop or even emerge thanks to unsatisfactory legal solutions?
The first example might be that of Netflix, the popular provider of on-demand internet streaming media currently available to North and South America, the Caribbean UK, Ireland, and Scandinavian countries.
It is estimated that on a normal week night, Netflix accounts for almost a third of all internet traffic entering North American homes [the remaining two-thirds being directed to IP blogs].
As both Kevin Spacey's fans and Bloomberg Businessweek readers will know, Netflix has recently decided to act not just as a provider of third parties' licensed contents, but also as a provider of self-produced contents, the first being the political thriller House of Cards, starring American Beauty's lead actor.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, House of Cards has bowed to near-unanimous praise, with many heralding the streaming service as a legitimate rival to premium cable outlets HBO and Showtime.
Netflix's plan is to continue producing original works and stream them directly. Besides considerations as to the progressively and rapidly dissolving identity of providers as ... well ... just providers, it was particularly interesting to read Bloomberg Businessweek's analysis on the future relationship between Hollywood studios and Netflix (and similar services). According to the magazine,
There is no need to say, suggests Merpel, that in any case quality, availability and price of an entertainment product remain the most important things to determine its commercial success.