Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

DRM in Hollywood, with a shout out to Dr. Demento

Greetings from Hollywood, California, home of the silver screen, recording studios, Doctor Demento, and earthquakes. I'm speaking on a DRM panel hosted by the media business law firm Foley and Lardner. I'm one of three technology folks in the room, and I'm going to talk about avoiding legal and technical decisions that limit our future rights, opportunities and markets. I don't think I'm going to be popular; perhaps I should not have worn my Diesel Sweeties pirate shirt; "pirate" foments a violent reaction among this group of legal media ninjas.

And if you surf over to the good Doctor's web site, you'll see that he's switched from a nationally syndicated, advertising supported model to a subscription service. Dr. Demento was a Sunday night staple, fitting into the time slice of my teen years between the Wonderful World of Disney and Sunday night NFL games. The shift away from national syndication doesn't mean that there's no longer an audience for his particular brand of wackiness, but rather that audience isn't sitting by the radio on Sunday night, aggregated in one time slot. Now you can listen to what you want when and where you want, without the FCC's censorship. But it's not "free" in the sense of advertising supported radio being free. If you're willing to spend $2 for a sophomoric laugh when you need it most, it's a good deal.

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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