A recent opinion piece appeared on CNET that ponders the future of content distribution. Authored by someone that might admit to some bias, Les Ottolenghi, CEO of peer-to-peer [P2P] distribution company Intent MediaWorks, the piece speaks of standard distribution as we know it ending. In a world where songs [and other content] can easily be swapped wirelessly via mobile phones and portable music players, not to mention personal computers, a new set of issues have presented themselves.
Sure, the CEO of a company that would benefit from the end of the old-school manner of distribution might be willing to articulate why the system his company uses is the way of the future. That aside, he makes some very valid points.
Like a drug dealing promising the first free taste, getting content for free is a pleasantry not often discarded once indulged in. As soon as folks [most often the younger ones] figure out that they can get a CD by their favorite artist online from a file sharing /P2P network for free [albeit illegally], they will be less inclined to do so by paying for it in a store via traditional [and legal] retail methods, be they a brick and mortar joint or online.
Mr. Ottolenghi takes the view of many other forward thinking types; instead of shutting these systems down and throwing the users in jail, why don’t we figure out a way to monetize and legalize the transaction?