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April 22, 2005
Tech Reality != Business Reality
Robert X's latest column shows he's been hitting off the same crack pipe as Vint Cerf. He looks ahead a few years and sees the big winner in the rollout of WiMax being BitTorrent because, properly used, it would vastly reduce the studios' costs for supplying downloadable movies.
This is technically true but totally fails to take into account a host of business realities or "facts on the ground" as the military terms them. These include: the Cartel's overt hostility to new technologies, the stagnation and entrenchment of business models, the fear of uncontrolled distribution, etc. The Amazon download-promos site I blogged earlier could easily have been put up by the Cartel five years ago, but they didn't. And they won't. It's anathema to their nature.
About the only way I could see this happening is if the Cartel succeeds in 0wnz0ring BitTorrent in the way they now 0wnz Napster. Maybe an emasculated BitTorrent could be deployed in the service of providing overpriced download rentals. But I doubt it.
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