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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

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April 9, 2005

Death of the CD?

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

I'm traveling this week back and forth to Portland. In the airports are a series of shops advertising "$20/2." Reading the fine print shows that you can buy two DVDs or CDs for USD 20. This is, in my mind, a sign of the impending death of the CD.

Look at the difference: with the CD you get some music tracks, maybe some liner notes if you're lucky, and... um, well, that's about it.

Or, for the same $10 you can get a couple hours of video, plus commentary, alternate tracks, possibly multiple languages, maybe a behind-the-scenes or other feature. If you're really jonesing for music you can buy concert DVDs of the same pop stars (these shops have tiny inventory - it's all hit-oriented material). The concerts cover the new songs, and you get to watch your idol perform them (or lip-synch) and get a backstage view or maybe a bonus track with an interview or tourbus footage.

Explain to me again why you'd buy a CD?

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Markets and Monopolies


COMMENTS

1. Cory Doctorow on April 9, 2005 5:56 PM writes...

"Explain to me again why you'd buy a CD?"

You can rip a CD without committing an illegal act of circumvention.

Permalink to Comment

2. Adam Sampson on April 9, 2005 8:55 PM writes...

Lossless audio. No DRM. Being able to play it in the car. Not wanting to support an immoral "content control association" or a bunch of manufacturers who're happy to abuse the legal and patent systems for profit. Not caring about a bunch of pointless extras when I'm probably only buying the album for a couple of songs anyway.

Permalink to Comment

3. Snarl on April 9, 2005 9:15 PM writes...

"Explain to me again why you'd buy a CD?"

Because I don't think I've ever watched a single DVD more than a few times . . . and there are plenty of CDs I've listened to hundreds of times. Even music DVDs on an integrated TV/hifi system stand no chance against music CDs (or MP3s) - have you ever put a DVD on at a dinner party?

Permalink to Comment

4. anonymous on April 11, 2005 10:57 AM writes...

because even though DVD players are inexpensive now, millions of people cannot afford to replace the cd player they currently have and then repurchase all the music they previously bought on media that plays without difficulty in the new system.

Permalink to Comment

5. Nathan Jones on April 13, 2005 3:46 AM writes...

DVD is for video, CD is for audio. Apples vs. oranges.

Music DVDs may partially displace CD sales, but the real competition to the CD is the same music sold via a different medium. This is because audio-only is portable; I listen through my computer at work, my iPod on the train, and occasionally I come across an actual CD player.

By contrast, video is for watching, and I can't do that everywhere. If I had the right equipment, perhaps I could play a DVD and only listen, not watch... but that's still not as convenient.

Personally, I think that the fact that you found DVDs selling for the same price as CDs (not more) is an indication that DVDs complement, rather than replace CDs.

Permalink to Comment

6. Nathan Jones on April 13, 2005 3:58 AM writes...

BTW, others have commented above on copy control and repurchasing music in different formats. These will be big concerns if/when DVD audio starts to replace the CD.

Permalink to Comment

7. truth and reconciliation on April 15, 2005 12:15 PM writes...

an interesting commentary on the death of the cd topic. . .blogmaverick.com, or search on icerocket.com for the same topic, its the first hit. interesting synopsis by mark cuban, the guy who owns the dallas mavericks. check it out.

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