Friday, May 30, 2003

PERCEPTION IS ALL, REALLY: There's a fascinating anecdote at the start of this C-Net article about file sharing:
Mark Ishikawa was eating dinner at the Los Angeles Hilton a few weeks ago when he overheard a couple discussing the virtues of downloading music using free services like Kazaa.
As CEO of BayTSP, a company that tracks copyright infringement on file-swapping networks for record labels and movie studios, Ishikawa had a professional interest in the subject. So when he walked around the corner, expecting to see two college students, he was stunned to find a pair of senior citizens--a sign, he says, of how far the practice has spread.

Righto, so what does this tell us? Firstly, that most of the people working in the computer industry - like those in the music industry - really can't seem to get their heads round the concept that Lots Of Older People Use Their Products.
Secondly, more importantly, the CEO of a company drawing down large sums of money from record labels and studios for their supposed expertise in the area of computer downloads was stunned to stumble on this fact by accident.
Now, if I was paying big bucks to have my copyrights policed by a company like BayTSP, I might be a bit curious as to how much value I was getting for my dollar if the guy who runs the company didn't know that not all file sharing is done by students in colleges. Isn't this a bit like hiring a bodyguard who later visits you in hospital and says 'sorry, mate, it came out of the blue to me that women carry guns as well'?

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