By many accounts, one of the more entertaining talks at TED in 2012 was Rob Reid’s look at what he calls “copyright math.” Reid is the author of Architects of the Web and he founded Listen.com Inc., which created the Rhapsody digital music service. In a very tongue in cheek demonstration, he points out the bogus nature of the entertainment industry’s math when it comes to supposed losses due to copyright infringement. For example, he discusses how the economic loss due to copyright infringement, as claimed by the entertainment industry, would equal the combined collapse of the entire U.S. corn, fruit, wheat, cotton, tobacco, rice, and . . . sorghum industries. He goes on from there, in a talk that is worth several laughs.
If you’re not familiar with TED, you can check out the post that Anthony Russo did for us a couple of years ago. The YouTube video of Reid’s talk is embedded below.
It’s worth repeating what I’ve said here before. Content creators deserve to be compensated for their work. The industry’s handling of this issue, however, and the way it has stifled technological innovation to maintain its vice grip on its content (and on old business models), has been horrible.