Why suing TV-kaista is a really bad idea
Unsurprisingly, the media corporations have hit one of the most awesome services in Finland, TV-kaista with a lawsuit. They are using copyright law as their strawman argument ("you can't make money on the stuff that we produce"), but it's a bad argument because you can use the exact same argument against the guy who sold you a television or the digibox or the PVR.
Now, TV-kaista is essentially a PVR on the web, which is what makes it so awesome. They store all the TV programs for the past two weeks, meaning that if you miss something, you can always go back and watch it. I can even do that from my cell phone. This is perfect for consumers, and really changes the way you watch TV. They are lighting the way to media consumption for the future, and steer us away from using dodgy Bittorrent services. The use of my own PVR has been reduced to pretty much recording content from pay channels, which aren't yet on the service.
Interestingly, because of the way our ancient copyright legislation works, TV-kaista has no choice but to give everyone a personal PVR in their datacentre. So all the data and processing power is duplicated for every single user, leading an enormous waste and strain on the environment in duplicated electricity and electronics cost. If they were allowed to store the TV streams just once, they could essentially allow us to get rid of our digiboxes who sit idly most of the day and night and leech electricity.
Not only that, who would ever bother to innovate around content in Finland anymore, now that they know they will always be subject to short-sighted lawsuits?
Short-sighted? Yes, you see - TV-kaista is essentially an aggregator of multiple video streams. The media houses don't like that - they want you to go to their own websites for the online content. And because they cannot aggregate their competitor's streams, their service can never be as good as an aggregator's one could be. So their only recourse is to sue the superior competition out of existence. And in doing so, they're essentially condemning consumers to crappy services forever. "Only we can decree how you can best consumer our content." Where's the competition and consumer choice in that?
Moore's law says that we will get more. I can already access my PVR from the internet, if I want to. If services like tvkaista.fi are not allowed to prosper, the void will be filled by PVRs which actually can store eight or sixteen channels ALL THE TIME. And then we get those aggregation services anyway, but again to more cost to the environment, with the media companies having far less control over what can happen then. Or someone establishes a similar service in Estonia, or somewhere else. It is impossible to control a public access signal anyway.
You see, they could instead agree with tvkaista.fi how to best share advertising revenue. They could even start selling it through their own agencies, who are really good at it. TV-kaista isn't. It would be a very good match.
In this particular case, enforcing strict copyright legislation is directly reducing consumer choice, damaging the environment, damaging Finland's ability to innovate, driving people to piracy, and preventing new online services to emerge. I mean, come on: Did anybody learn anything from the Napster lawsuit and success of the iTunes Music Store? Music companies had their own ideas about music consumption, and they were all wrong, and it was left for innovative companies outside of their business to build the future models. This is no different.
So fuck off, will you MTV Media, Sanoma Television, Yleisradio, Kopiosto, Teosto, Tuotos and ÄKT, and let innovative companies make the world a better place? You'll get your money anyway, 'cos you control the source.
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|"Main_blogentry_231209_1" last changed on 23-Dec-2009 13:51:49 EET by JanneJalkanen.|