John Kay i Financial Times med nok en glimrende kronikk. Man kan jo håpe noen norske politikere tenker seg om før de løper de eksisterende mellommennenes ærender i en kamp de åpenbart vil tape. Et tap som kan skje raskt og smidig, eller langsomt og smertefullt. Et utdrag, men les hele kronikken (mine uthevinger).
Britain has for generations enjoyed an enviable competitive advantage in music and book publishing. The future of these industries is now in the hands of three US companies – Apple, Amazon and Google. In the face of supine government policies, only these organisations have had the strength to challenge the political and market dominance of vested interests.
Traditional music publishers and the retailers through whom they distributed are failing, not because less is being spent on music – it is not – but because less is being spent through them. Their decline was probably inevitable, because the digital revolution fundamentally undermined their business model. But the publishers initially made no serious attempt to adapt, seeking instead to use legal powers to shut the new technologies down. These efforts were predictably futile. In books, Amazon rapidly broke the resistance of conventional publishers to making their works cheaply available in electronic format – so rapidly that in the US sales of digital books now rival traditional formats.
As the commercial market is being transformed, anyone who thinks that the policy challenge is to restrict internet piracy has missed the point. Such thinking confuses, as Carter did, the development of successful businesses with the welfare of the industry’s established large companies. The result is that UK companies, and the UK government, are now no more than bit players in a play staged on the other side of the Atlantic. The UK government is at least more enlightened than the European Commission, which seems to be playing in quite another show – one where trade associations and naive artists are the only audience.
Many creative people have been persuaded that these technological developments threaten their interests, but they are wrong. There is huge potential benefit to authors and musicians from faster and cheaper distribution systems, and from a closer relationship between the originator and the user – the bypassing of publishers that these businesses understandably fear.
Oppdatering: Jan Omdahl skriver godt om eG8-møtet i Paris. Som Yochi Benkler sier: “Du kan gjøre nettet trygt for Justin Bieber, eller du kan gjøre det trygt for det neste Skype”. Sålangt ser det ut som om politikerne her hjemme har mest sans for Bieber.