Warner Bros Goes P2P via Bit Torrent



Does Warner Brothers honestly think we’re going to pay $20 for
a write-once DVD viewable only on our computers?

I hope not, because if it does,
its plan to sell movies and television shows online using BitTorrent’s
peer-to-peer system is truly wrongheaded. This morning the studio, which has
been fighting a bitter battle against file-sharing networks, announced
a plan that on the surface appears to be a forward-thinking adaptation of a new
distribution system

"We’ve been struggling with peer-to-peer technology and
trying to figure out a way to harness the good in all that the technology allows
us to do," Kevin
Tsujihara, president of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group, told the New
York Times
. "If we can convert 5, 10 or 15 percent of the illegal
downloaders into consumers of our product, that is significant." It certainly
would be.

But I can’t imagine Warner will ever achieve conversion rates like
that if the Torrented movies are  priced 
the same as a shrink-wrapped DVD
, yet be encumbered
with a robust copy protection
that allows them to be viewed only on the
computer to which they are downloaded. Leave it to Hollywood to "embrace"
peer-to-peer distribution and all the economies and efficiencies that go along
with it and then ruin it by using it to peddle an inferior and overpriced

Category: Film, Intellectual Property, Music, Technology

Media Appearance: Kudlow & Company (5/11/06)

Category: Media

Nasdaq Big Cap (Qs) vs Russell 2000: Why Guess?

Category: Investing, Technical Analysis, Trading

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Category: Weblogs

The Fed’s New Conundrum: Slowing Housing

Category: Federal Reserve, Inflation, Investing, Markets, Real Estate

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Category: Federal Reserve

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Category: Economy, Federal Reserve, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Inflation

Stephen Moore Gets Slick With the Data

Early this morning, I caught a few minutes of Stephen Moore’s Supply Side arguments on CNBC re Tax Cuts.

Rather than discuss what some have called Economic’s biggest mistake, and what the Chairman of President Bush Council of Economic Advisors Greg Mankiw described in the third edition of his book Principles of Economics textbook as the work of
"charlatans and cranks," I thought I would simply debunk his Capital Gains Tax Cut argument as increasing treasury receipts:

Moore is arguing that since tax reciepts went up after the Capital Gains Taxes were cut in 2003, it should therefore get all the credit. I would respond simply by going to the charts, and pointing out that THE ABSENCE OF CAPITAL GAINS FROM 2000-20003 is the primary reason.

This first chart shows the pre-tax cut period of October 2000 to March 2003; Gee, anyone want to hazard a guess for why Capital Gains Taxes paid were so low after the Nasdaq dropped 78%?


 Nasdaq 2000-03


The second chart shows what happened after the War began in March ’03. Note that the Nasdaq selloff was very similar in depth to the initial 1929 crash.


Nasdaq 2003-06


Gee, when markets rally, people pay more Capital Gains! Go figure . . .

(And this is before we even mention increased Housing sales due to half century low interest rates and the potential capital gains taxes there) 


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Category: Data Analysis, Markets, Politics

BizWeek on Big Oil

Category: Commodities, Energy, Financial Press, Psychology

Media Appearance: Kudlow & Company (5/09/06)

Category: Media