Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Betamax Wars Continue

Once upon a time, Sony invented the home video recorder - the Betamax - and Hollywood studios launched law suits in an attempt to kill it. The studios lost the fight and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to them. The VCR was a success because it gave consumers more power to control when they watched entertainment. The studios benefited because the equipment allowed for the release of pre-recorded cassettes and eventually DVDs. The home video market today is responsible for a large portion of Hollywood's revenues.

Later this month, RealPlayer will release version 11, which will include the ability to grab video from the web and save it or copy it to other devices. RealPlayer argues that their new release is no different than a VCR or PVR. Hollywood, which never learns from the past and thinks there's a future in alienating consumers, will possibly sue RealPlayer.

You can read details in this Variety article by Scott Kirsner.

1 comment:

Neal said...

I think it's possibly something that will come in waves; new technology is fought at every step of the way, but ultimately if it's anything like MP3s or internet video, the consumer demand outweighs the corporate anxiety and business models and creative industries must adapt to survive.