You keep using that word…

I do not think it means what you think it means.

In this case, I’m talking about narcissistic content creators and media companies that throw around the word “theft”, usually accompanied by talking about their “rights.”

You have copyright, which is intended to be a short term, limited concession to publishers in order to incentivize creation of new works.

Now, this has expanded in popular discourse into a “natural right” of authors to restrict users of software and even control how we use the physical things we buy.

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Apps Have No Intrinsic Value

Today I saw this article online. Granted the information is from 2012, but the article reports the conclusion from an analytical firm that 60% of the apps in the App Store have never been downloaded, even once.

This figure is both astonishing and completely unsurprising.

You might argue that discoverability is a big problem, and that other App Stores that let you see new or recently updated apps easier might not have this problem.

You might also argue that a large portion of these are fart apps or redundant flashlight apps, or other things that you would not expect people to use regardless.

However, in my personal opinion, this points to a more fundamental problem.

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Thoughts on Digital Distribution

I’m normally the first person to advocate for new technology.  But, let me give a quick anecdote showing how sometimes the future sucks.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned offhand to some friends while discussing the Matrix that I hadn’t seen the Animatrix.  We decided to stop at the video store and check for a used copy, then get some Pizza Hut and party like it’s 2003.

IMG_3899We found a copy in a bin for $1.99.  But notice the “buy 2 get 1 free” sale stickers.  We actually bought 3 copies, so that everyone could take home their own copy.  Without discounts or sales that’s 3 copies for about $6.  With the sale and with my membership discounts it actually came out to something like under $1.15 per copy.  Mine even came with a patch that I can sew onto my jeans/backpack and look like a dork.

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How much does it cost to purchase (or rent) just one standard definition copy of such an old movie using modern digital distribution (iTunes), which is supposed to increase convenience and reduce costs?

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Enough said.