Today I have read the following article in Harvard Business Review (can be found here) and again, with disappointment, I have to say that the Digital Media market seems to be trying to save themselves through rehashing old strategies, not through inventing new ones. The article presents an idea which can limit losses – namely it proposes to release DVDs and other electronic media quicker (shrink time window between lets say movie release in theatres and its release on DVD) – but it cannot completely do away with them. Following proposed path will consequently lead to some losses on movie ticket sales (a high margin market), but it should limit piracy, as many people go that route not wanting to wait too long for legal copy of the movie or book (increasing sales of the latter, a low margin market). Lose some, win some.
The idea does nothing to protect music released on CDs though (or even as download), as those are immediately being re-released on the black market in form of digital copies. The same will happen if movies will have different release dates internationally – internet is quicker than distributors.
I am still convinced that digital age needs completely new approach. Stringent and strong laws may help, but will not remove the problem. We need to find a balance between modern, completely new ways of selling and distributing digital content and related copyright protection laws. A balance which will allow markets to flourish, without stifling them and without making us suffer too much (through inference of state in our lives, for example). We need a revolution, not an evolution.