[Gllug] CD's etc

Mike Brodbelt mike at coruscant.demon.co.uk
Thu Apr 11 20:06:55 UTC 2002

On Thu, 2002-04-11 at 09:46, t.clarke wrote:
> I have a feeling that people pirate these sorts of things because they perceive
> the original article to be a rip-off.
> For example, despite the fact that CD's now cost a pittance to manufacture,
> CD prices seems to have consistently stayed ahead of inflation.  A few years
> back I couldn't help noticing that a high-street chain wanted 14-quid for a
> 'Brothers in Arms' CD (which had been out for absolutely ages) whereas some
> budget price classical CD's (which would probably have involved far more
> people to produce) were going for a fiver.

The thing you have to realise is that the production cost of a CD is
entirely decoupled from the sale price. The record companies operate as
a cartel, and dictate contract terms to new artists, who have little
choice but to accept if they ever wish their music to be heard. The sale
price of a CD is purely a function of supply and demand economics - the
record companies have a stranglehold and push prices as high as the
market will bear.

The existence of perfect digital copying, coupled with Internet
distribution has the potential to change that, and, IMHO, that's why
they are worried. In the absence of their stranglehold over
production/distribution, they'd have to price competitively, CD prices
would fall to 2-3 pounds, and they'd lose their licence to print money.
Record company execs have no wish to see that happen.

> I'll happily buy loads of CD's
> sub-ten pounds, but over that I am much more selective.    The same goes for
> DVD's - its pretty irritating to see the same title on a Video Cassette for
> substantially less than a DVD.  Ok, I know DVD is better quality and you get
> the 'outakes' etc,  but I though the whole idea of new technology was to
> improve mankind's lot, not simply provide a mechanism for film studios and the
> like to make even more shedloads of money !

The studios are just as bad as the record companies. The only difference
is video requires more bandwidth, so MP3 and Napster happened to the
audio market first. The studios are desperate to prevent it from
happening with digital video, and having seen what happened with
Napster, and watched CSS get cracked, they're busy pushing the
legislative route. If CSS had been cracked substantially earlier, I
think there's every possibility they would have killed the DVD format
out of fear.


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