Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Please take my money

When Adobe Lightroom beta came out, I started using it immediately. The software just rocks and instantly transformed by workflow. The moment it came out of beta I went to www.adobe.com to buy it. Guess what, they refused to sell me and my beta expires in February.

Last December when I was in London I decided to give the iTunes gift cards a try: you see, iTunes has decided that Estonia is not worthy of their service. Amazingly enough it worked. Apparently it is illegal to buy music on-line from Estonia but it is perfectly legal for an Estonian to go and purchase the card from their most convenient Shaftsbury's and even redeem it later from Estonia.

Do you know which DVD region Estonia belongs to? No? It's in the same region as Russia, Mongolia, India and most of Africa. Makes sense, doesn't it. Of course most Estonians get their DVDs from Mongolia rather than Finland, UK or USA.

What is this, people? Why on earth has it be so darn complex to get proper legal content over here? Have you guys considered that you might actually make more money this way?

It's quite strange, that first the music industry makes it next to impossible to buy their stuff and then wonders when piracy levels go through the roof. I can now almost hear people go "but why don't you just go out and buy the CD instead". Consider the population of Estonia, consider the percentage of people who like a particular niche style (like old-school Heavy Metal or a little off-mainstream hip-hop) and you get down to approximately five people which means nobody is ever going to consider them a viable market. There is, of course, amazon.com, but the media industry execs should know their audience better than that. Very few people are willing to wait three weeks to get a CD they'd like to listen on their way home.

While we are at it, can anybody explain me why DRM is supposed to work? The delivery channel looks like this:

content provider ->device->consumer

Unless I am mistaken the last part between the device and consumer can not be easily protected (how do you wire my brain for DRM?). Anybody who knows anything about cryptography tells you that it does not make sense to protect just a part of the channel: it should be all or nothing. Hence, no DRM system is never going to do anything but make it more difficult for consumers to consume. Which does not really make sense, does it?

Back to the question of Lightroom: there is no legal way for me to participate in the pre-order campaign. Luckily enough I happen to know some people in UK who might be able to purchase a copy for me. It's either that or astalavista.box.sk.

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