Free eBook and audiobook on media business and distribution control

Gerd Leonhard, co-author of the Future of Music book is making an experiment with his new book – The End of Control. He is publishing the chapters of the book as they appear in PDF format as well as MP3’s on his website. First two chapters – “Attention is the new currency” and “Copyright in the Age of Uncontrolled distribution” are currently available for download / reading / listening.

The books tries to address very important questions on how will the new media business function in environment with little control over the distribution channel. Attempts to enforce control with technical tools were not very successful – just recall the Sony rootkit fiasco’s, hacking the HD-DVD and others. Currently, there is strong movement away from DRM and towards non-crippledrestricted content.

The other line how the content owners try to enforce compliance is using legal muscles. The heavily publicized trial by jury to pay over $200’200 in damages for offering 24 songs on P2P network was presented in media mostly as big victory for the RIAA, but – as The Register points out – it may be easily Pyrrhic victory and may in the end backfire against the RIAA.

Many people see labels and RIAA as a cross of dinosaur who forgot to die out and a leech sucking the money from the channel between the content creators and consumers. What are the new ways of distribution assuring the incentives for the authors without causing too much annoyance for the consumers, what are the business and legal implications of the new model are the themes into which the book will (hopefully) provide some insights. So far, looks very promissing.

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