A Contrast

From time to time something happens to make me think that maybe big media has caught a clue and is moving to saner policies. The last such example was Tor's abandonment of DMR—a significant step forward. Sadly, reality inevitably intrudes and the media powers demonstrate that they've learned nothing.

As a case in point, I offer these two posts as a contrast in perceptions of reality. Thomas Hambleton writes on his blog that It's 2012 and this still happens. The post, which documents his unsuccessful attempt to buy Paloma Faith's new album, bears an uncanny resemblance to one of my favorite Oatmeal comics. Here's a guy that wants to give the record labels money but they refuse to take it. Yes, yes, they have contracts that restrict distribution by region but you know what? It's 2012, there's this thing called the Internet, and maybe it's time to rethink distribution policies from decades ago.

What does big media think? This. What can you say about a man who simultaneously whines about people pirating his product while opining that his customers are being unreasonable for not wanting to wait for his company to get around to selling their product locally? He's entitled to his opinion, of course, but he shouldn't be surprised when people disagree and turn to pirate sites for their instant gratification.

For some insight into the problem from the publishers' point of view, see this comment from Patrick Nielsen Hayden, one of publishing's more enlightened executives, on John Scalzi's site, Whatever.

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