Kill Hollywood. And video games.

January 21, 2012 — Leave a comment

I read two things in a small time span that sounded very similar. The first was from Y Combinator:

The main reason we want to fund such startups is not to protect the world from more SOPAs, but because SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they’re resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention.

The second was a quote from a Namco Bandai VP:

Free-to-play games can’t be high quality. The business model for smaller, easier titles, is making an expectation to consumers that is whittling away at triple-A development. We need to put certain value on certain work. When you’re a big company… you can’t take risks too quickly, you can’t make a change just because there’s a fashion for a couple of years; you want to be there in 20 or 30 years.

I am reminded that while individual companies chose to back down from supporting SOPA, the Entertainment Software Association didn’t until it was postponed. Is that weird?

In reflecting on MegaUpload being taken down, Jonathon Coulton suggests, “Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan.”

Consider the second point of the Remix Manifesto: The past always tries to control the future.

My point is, we have companies and industries that largely benefit from creativity and an open exchange of ideas. That is what culture is. However, these institutions have become, well, institutions. Combined with the rather depressing human trait of having no sense of history, it generates the desperate tone that something unfair is happening.

Disruptive technologies aren’t described as such because they are bad; it’s because they break up the delusional security of “business as usual”. The writing is on the wall, photographed, enhanced and anonymously distributed. No amount of legislative black boxing will change it; but as YC says, “you can, however, accelerate it.”

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