Me2Me … Very Interesting

I just read a great post over at Copyfight by Jason Schultz, INDUCE’s biggest threat: Me2Me apps. Jason describes the me2me application as the devices that allow you to share with yourself — I don’t think doing that causes blindness or anything else your grandmother may have told you. But, it does worry the hell out of the RIAA and the MPAA. Jason contends that this new breed of software or hardware (think Apple’s Airport Express and Tivo’s Home Media) could be the next scary thing:

This is, of course, the RIAA and MPAA’s worst nightmare. Both industries have based their business models on controlling each and every permutation of playback for their content. The RIAA wants to make you pay when you buy the CD, when you download the iTune, when you listen to an Internet webcast, etc. The MPAA wants to charge you at the theater, for every copy of a DVD you buy, and (via advertising) for every show you watch on TV. Yet the more and more we as users and consumers are allowed to control and choose our own form of playback, the less Hollywood can justify charging us for each one. The more utility we get out of Me2Me apps, the less we’re willing to pay someone for an extra copy or delivery mechanism. In the end, Me2Me technology may pose a larger threat to Big Content’s bottom line than P2P ever did.

It just sort of jumped out at me that this seems like it should be the era of personal media — what with all these digital lifestyle devices showing up on the scene. I usually don’t like to take huge quotes out of context, but I thought it was a good one. At any rate it makes me wonder how it will come down given the potential for growth in the academic podcasting space and the ease of remixing media — I am seeing this stuff explode and if this scares the hell out of the powers that be, then it could spell the end to personal media management as we’ve come to expect it. Now, back to reality … even Jason says that, “Me2Me technology, however, would be much much harder to outlaw. Many Me2Me uses would arguably be fair or non-infringing uses.” He says that in comparison of how the RIAA and MPAA in the Grokster case were able to show that over 90% of P2P use is for infringement … still it leaves me wondering.

This would be an interesting discussion for some students … any thoughts?

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