Sony Pictures CEO 'doesn't see anything good having come from the Internet - period'. Question mark?

Written by Nic Wistreich on . Posted in Internet

walkman_by_edvvcIt's kind of like a guy who grows his tomatoes in his kitchen complaining about never benefiting from all that lovely sunshine outside. Sony was the company who were five years behind Microsoft with web access for the Playstation, created the web hoax PR bomb, and resisted shipping an MP3 player in favor of their own proprietary DRM'd format for three years after the record breaking launch of the iPod (and which they've only just conceded was a mistake). Sony Pictures CEO Michael Linton's blaming of the web for his company's first loss in 14 years is - as we say round where I'm from - like a bad workman blaming his tools.

The film industry has had over 10 years to prepare for the web as it exists today. In an early life back then I wrote management reports that I know were sold to the media executives as did many people around me. The success of broadband, filesharing, youtube and the lack of central control or agreed-upon delivery standards is unsurprising, other than for being slightly slower to materialise than expected and - I suppose - for the film industry's failure to learn the lessons of the music industry and produce a legitimate service which competes with the piracy model, if not on price, at least on availability and ease of use.

To this day it is still near-impossible to rent or purchase some of Hollywood's greatest films online, forcing those too lazy to order a copy from Amazon an easy excuse to download it illegally. While some kind of penalty for major pirate filesharers may be only a matter of time, for as long as the industry resists providing a legitimate alternative, as the music industry finally has with Spotify, then at least the filesharers are keeping the pressure on the studio executives to resolve the licensing disputes and put their libraries online asap. It's not like they aren't already available illegally, taking away any argument about waiting until DRM/watermarking issues are resolved - if people want to rip these films, they probably already have. And if they couldn't grab them online, they'd just get it from their local DVD-wielding pub tout. For the majority of us who don't want to steal (but may like to sample from time to time when unsure if a film will be any good) we are just being encouraged to learn a new way to break the law. This is before we come onto the thousands of incredible films that aren't available - even on DVD or VHS - and are otherwise consigned to the dustbin of fading memories.