Are we finally turning the digital telly page?

There seems to be a convergence of stuff on digital telly at the moment.  (For the quantum physics aspects of convergence of stuff, do ask that lovely chap Professor Cox.)

Netflix has launched, Lovefilm is reborn under Amazon ownership, I’ve got iPlayer on my telly and analogue sets are all for the skip very soon.  That’s quite apart from Google TV and iTunes.  These really are happy times for lovers of digal content.  Or are they?

My current question is whether the underling intellectual property licences (which include several restrictions on how content can be distributed to consumers for viewing) actually are hindering the speed of the growth of the market? 

Just take the licensing terms under which major holywood studios usually distribute their films to digital media retailers:

– copies time out after around one month

– once a person begins watching, those copies will time out after 48 hours

That’s been the prevalent structure for a while now and I would say it’s time for evolution of that.  Why does it matter if I take more than 2 days to watch a film?  (This grumble, you must understand, is heartfelt: I have lost count of the number of flights where I have not been able to finish watching a film and then by the time I got back to it, time was up.  I now rent fewer movies, which is not a positive thing for the growth of our digital ecomomy.)

Any licence structure which places even a minor barrier in the way of an impulse purchase of a movie should be looked at.  Another one to add to Neelie’s list.

By the way, later this week the EU will be announcing its action plan to double the share of the Internet economy in Europe by 2015 – and that includes digital stuff.  Keep you posted.


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