Still, a very cool experiment. And now one I’d love to see applied to some really, really popular celebrities, and some not-quite-yet celebrities. Then we’ll have a better idea of how much indie distribution willactuallyshift the balance of power in the media industry. It could be a little, it could be a lot, but it’s too early to tell.
The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we’ve sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. [emphasis mine] They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.
Information on the internet is costly to produce, near costless to distribute, but marketing can be an issue, a costly one at that. Louis CK has an established brand so he can take the risks in production and let the viral nature of the Internet do its thing.
The experiment was successful but it’s not a game changer for Louis CK per se. (If you doubt that, you put out $250,000 for production and see how viral your show goes.) He just cut out a middle man, made more money and we saved some. That’s the game changer for the big distribution, really marketing, companies. Social networking is not good for their business model. Not at all.
It’s not clear just how complicit Apple is in Digitude’s business, but EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels told TechCrunch that if Apple was deliberately aiding Digitude’s patent trolling, “it would be horrifying.” And even if Apple were somehow coerced into settling with Digitude, Samuels doubts that “Apple didn’t have any other options.”
As we noted recently, Apple has a tendency to use its intellectual property in ways that seem inconsistent. For instance, an Opera developer claims that Applehas a patternof using patents to slow down the W3C’s open standards process, while promoting open standards when it gives Apple leverage against its competitors. This situation with Digitude seems similar; Apple opposes the tactics of patent trolls when theycome after iOS developers, but seems to support them if it aids itsongoing legal battlefor dominance of the smartphone market.
My almost-last-of-the-year Roll Call column tells you everything you need to know about what’s ahead next year…and why you should believe me because of how accurately I predicted what would happen in 2011.
In case you’re wondering, whether you should read any further…my batting average for this year was a whopping 857. My question: Should I have my agent call the Yankees to offer my services?
Minnesota Senator Al Franken has sent letters to several more companies involved in theCarrier IQ scandal, reports say. Franken is in charge of a Senate privacy panel, and has issued new requests to AT&T, HTC, Samsung, and Sprint, in addition toone sent earlier to Carrier IQ itself. The new parties are beingaskedto explain how they’re using the Carrier IQ technology, and what data they’re gathering through it.
Eliot Spitzer on the aforelinked scandal revealed by Bloomberg:
Imagine you walked into a bank, applied for a personal line of credit, and filled out all the paperwork claiming to have no debts and an income of $200,000 per year. The bank, based on these representations, extended you the line of credit. Then, three years later, after fighting disclosure all the way, you were forced by a court to tell the truth: At the time you made the statements to the bank, you actually were unemployed, you had a $1 million mortgage on your house on which you had failed to make payments for six months, and you hadn’t paid even the minimum on your credit-card bills for three months. Do you think the bank would just say: Never mind, don’t worry about it? Of course not. Whether or not you had paid back the personal line of credit, three FBI agents would be at your door within hours.
Yet this is exactly what the major American banks have done to the public.
Like HP, Dell is believed to be putting most of its faith in Windows 8 tablets for the US market. It won’t have this option until mid-to-late 2012, however, and will essentially concede its share of mobile tablets for a year.
Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor? Execution of course has been lacking by announcing tablets so early the market had moved on to more advanced tablets, but that begs a serious question: Why is Dell behind?
The only sure way to keep something private on Facebook is not to post it to Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg would never acknowledge this, but I think it will ultimately benefit both his site and its users if we adjusted our expectations about “privacy” there. You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window. However restrictive your privacy controls, you should imagine that everything that you post on Facebook will be available for public consumption forever. If you follow this simple rule, you’ll never be blindsided.
The article’s sub-head is a bit unfair, though:
You’re as much to blame for the site’s privacy woes as Mark Zuckerberg.
People are confused about Facebook privacy settings because Facebook wants them to be confused. It’s deliberate. That’s all on Facebook.
I’ve long suspected this. By making security a moving target, Facebook has made your potential control over privacy is ever improved but vastly outstrips your actual ability to implement that control. The sagest advice is thus: “You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window.” It’s all public folks.