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Comment Re:why i pirate (Score 1) 254

Creativity does not arise from dabbling around with existing works -- it involves, well, creating something. Derivative works tend to degrade the original property, not build on it -- look at any and all major TV and cinema adaptations of folklore and mythology in the last several decades: they've never been accurate to sources and they have broken people's connection with the originals. Lots of Robin Hood, for example, but not since the Disney cartoon have any of the traditional episodes been included (e.g. the golden arrow). Heroic fiction for decades was a series of cheap "I wish I was Tolkien" pulp paperbacks until George "R R" Martin came along and took the right royal piss out of the whole genre with his books.

Comment Re:Dump Star Trek and fuck CBS/Paramount (Score 1) 254

But people aren't fans of this hypothetical universe. People don't want to write about this hypothetical universe. And this hypothetical universe would probably be even cheesier than the Star Trek one -- just consider how decades of "heroic fantasy" were just cheesy pseudo-Tolkien.

Comment Re:This is why anti-trust laws exist (Score 1) 327

The rules are the same for any company. Spotify wasn't abused or picked on. They want Apple to make special rules for them.

No, they want Apple to allow them to operate on a level playing field in competition with Apple's competing services, because if they don't, Spotify will sink much quicker than they otherwise will. The writing's already on the wall for Spotify, as they're not going to be able to compete with bundled video+music packages in the long run. But as it stands, Apple's fees and policies mean Spotify must be 13% more efficient than Apple's service to be able to offer an equivalent service at the same price.

I would love to see a situation where Apple's policy on commission for all subscriptions is successfully overturned. However, if Apple was only forced to make allowances to apps and services that compete with their own apps, that too would be a good thing. (Consider how many alternatives to Pages, GarageBand, iMovie etc there are, and they all have the double competitive disadvantage that Apple promotes their own apps in the essentials category, and takes a large cut of their competitors' profits.)

Comment Re:Walled garden (Score 1) 327

Now go back to the days when music occupied the airwaves? How much did they get then? zero. But what was the benefit? It's free advertising. Streaming is no different.

Streaming is very different. Imagine a showroom for washing machines where you can try them out by washing your clothes. There's no limit to the number of times you can come in and try them out. Is that an free advertising for Indesit, Zanussi, Hoover etc? No, because it undermines demand for washing machines. Now imagine that the showroom pays the suppliers a fraction of the usual wholesale cost for their washers. The washing machine makers lose out.

Comment Re:Walled garden (Score 2) 327

Apple was being unfair to artists, not its customers. Spotify customers who are paying through the app itself are the ones affected by the changes in Spotify's app, and Spotify has the gall to paint the situation as though these rules have suddenly changed.

I am no fan of Spotify -- as with all streaming services, they shortchange musicians. However, the fact is that they're operating in a space where margins are exceptionally tight (and all their competitors are shortchanging musicians, too) -- Apple's cut is humungous in relation to most of the other costs in the system, and it takes a dubious business model and makes it unworkable.

And what does Apple bring to the table? People keep saying it brings the customers, but that's a two-way street -- there are plenty of Spotify users whose decision on what tablet or phone to buy would be heavily coloured by the unavailability of Spotify on a given platform. And Apple does not bring users to Spotify -- Apple passively facilitates it. They don't promote many apps, and Spotify has to advertise independently to get any awareness. Apple is trying to make a 500% markup by offering credit card processing facilities that Spotify still have to duplicate from someone else anyway (because Apple do not offer general payments processing that non-iOS customers can access) on customers that Spotify have to get for themselves.

Apple is not a shop. They do not stock the shelves. They rely on third-parties to do that for them, and the third-parties take on all the risk; then they skim the cream off the top of all income while assuming no risk themselves. I'm grateful for the fact that I can trust most apps to be secure on my iPad, but their payment system is crazy.

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