Great cartoon (see below) which I found here, mocking the publishing industry’s absurd luddism, Chicken Littleism, and resistance to change. Cory Doctorow does a good summary of this phenomenon in this article:
Why can’t a poor creator have the right to choose who can use her works?” Well, the reason is that creators (and, notably, their industrial investors) are notoriously resistant to new media. The composers damned the record companies as pirates; the record labels damned the radio for its piracy; broadcasters vilified the cable companies for taking their signals; cable companies fought the VCR for its recording “theft.” Big entertainment tried to kill FM radio, TV remote controls (which made it easy to switch away from adverts), jukeboxes, and so on, all the way back to the protestant reformation’s fight over who got to read the Bible.
Of course, it’s not just resistance to change that is behind the lumbering clumsiness of Big Media; it’s dependence on (and the ability to utilize) the state copyright protection from competition. Of course they don’t want to compete; of course the shelter from competition provided by copyright law permits media companies to bury their heads in the sand and resist innovation and catering to customers’ preferences. But “piracy” is eroding the monopolies once provided by copyright. Even so, Big Media are fighting tooth and nail to milk the monopolistic royalties out of the system while they still can. Their days may be numbered, we may be seeing the thrashings of a dying beast, but it will extract a lot of tribute and do a lot of damage in its death throes. (See The Death Throes of Pro-IP Libertarianism; see also Robertson on Innovation and the Music Industry, re a great interview with Michael Robertson, MP3.com founder, about his various attempts to provide cloud or efficient music and movie streaming from the cloud and how the movie and music industries continually sue and thwart him, and also noting a recent episode of CNET’s Buzz Report where Molly Wood discusses (2:17-2:48) the self-destructive actions of movie studios in fighting YouTube’s attempt to rent movies on-demand.)