“So The Pirate Bay has executed the Web 2.0 business plan to perfection: give someone else’s stuff away for free – then find a bigger idiot to buy the company.”
It’s actually not so different from the potted history of every media company that rises to popularity on the back of a new medium – take radio, for example – then sells out at the top of the market. Only in the case of Web 2.0, companies go from “pre-revenue” to “post-revenue” without any revenue in between. That’s where you need a bigger idiot.
It’s cute to read arguments today that depend so much on historical inevitability – or else rely on natural, or physical “laws” – laws which turn out to be dodgy metaphors that only exist in the author’s head. When we look at history, we learn something quite different, which is that all media companies reach a settlement with creators, eventually. The two are mutually symbiotic: copyright is a social agreement created in response to technological innovation, and technology needs copyright material, or else it’s bunch of empty pipes, or at best a low-value telephone network.
Occasionally, history throws up odd wrinkles, such as the absence of a performance rights deal on sound recordings on US radio, but these are very rare exceptions. In the absence of a viable business, the hope of New Media startups has been to find a wrinkle they can drive a bus (or a business) through. The original Napster hoped to change the law, and when that failed, it tried to reach a settlement with the record industry.
…Read more at The Register