In a blog entry about the study, Professor Ohm (love the name) wrote:Although the analog hole has been widely decried by content providers, surprisingly little is known about fundamental aspects of how it operates. Can average users exploit the analog hole, or is this limited to sophisticated users? Does analog hole copying significantly degrade the quality of music or video? Will people pay for music that isn't a perfect digital copy? Intuitions and guesses abound, but nobody has ever conducted a study to answer these questions. . . . What's the analog hole worth? Based on our survey, twenty-four cents. That's how much less our respondents were willing to pay for a music track when a perfect digital copy was replaced by an analog hole copy. Although our results need to be replicated on a larger scale, they suggest many conclusions that have never before been proved: people are willing to pay for less-than-perfect analog hole copies of songs; people will pay much more than half the price of a typically-priced digital music file for its degraded alternative; and even self-avowed "pirates" show a willingness to pay for digital music, albeit at prices well below today's market standard of ninety-nine cents a song.
I'm guessing that it is. Of course I don't know much about making money from downloadable music. But then, neither do the record companies, by all appearances . . . ."What does this all mean? If it wanted to, the music industry could probably price discriminate in the way we've described. If it offered lower-quality music downloads for less money, it would probably find a market. Although lower-quality tracks are no cheaper to produce than the standard-quality tracks sold today, lower-quality files are usually smaller, resulting in less bandwidth to distribute, leading to possible cost savings. Also, lower-quality tracks may be good enough for an iPod but not for a home audio system, which could possibly spur multiple purchases of the same song by the same consumer. More likely, the music industry will follow the lead of the EMI/Apple deal, and attempt to price discriminate for higher prices, if at all. It is unclear whether our result is generalizable to that situation.
Hackers appear to have figured out how to access one of the crucial HD DVD encryption keys without having to authorise the data - potentially rendering the latest attempt to block such activity useless.
Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce