Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Friday, April 09, 2004


One man's blessing is another man's challenge...


The technology game between producers and hackers/adulterers is fascinating. Whether it is Microsoft vs. the virus makers, Movie and music studios against digital file sharers, or other attempts to limit the use of a firm's products (smokers long ago figured out how to "castrate" a child-proof lighter so that a normal human being could operate it).

So, how long will it take for someone to modify this DVD player that skips sex and violence scenes so that it skips to those scenes?

There is a another problem if the technology becomes widespread. If everyone has this technology, perhaps movies will become longer and more sex-filled (at least the DVD versions). After all, Eminem and other rap stars probably don't survive the market test they would have faced twenty years ago. Rather, the "Explicit Lyrics" label has given artists (who wish to push the envelope) a green light to do whatever they want because of the label. The music industry is truly caveat emptor - don't blame Eminem, he is doing exactly what the (regulated) market has allowed him to do. Perhaps the same thing could happen with DVD movies?

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