Friday, May 18, 2007

Outmoded Market Models get More Help

As part of my RIAA posts...

As If Big Copyright Didn't Already Have Enough Lobbying Clout...
from the "lobbyists doing more lobbying"? [source]

You would think, given their ability to pass ridiculous self-serving legislation solely to protect their dying business models, that the folks behind "Big Content" wouldn't need another lobbying group... but you'd apparently be wrong. The RIAA, the MPAA, the Association of American Publishers and companies including Disney, Viacom and Microsoft have teamed up to create "The Copyright Alliance."

You would have thought that these groups already had enough lobbyists and misleading spokespeople, but I guess if you can't get real grassroots support, you just keep forming industry associations to make support look stronger than it really is. The group will be led by Patrick Ross, who recently left the Progress & Freedom Foundation, though not before making the case against fair use and bizarrely claiming that changing the DMCA would be inefficient regulatory tinkering without explaining why creating the DMCA wasn't inefficient regulatory tinkering in the first place.

In other words, this is going to be more of the same tortured logic pretending that without stronger copyright law, the content creation business would be in trouble. The truth is this is a front group to protect the interests of big copyright holders allowing them to prop up obsolete business models against more innovative new business models.

However, since those big copyright players tend to be big political contributors, politicians such as Howard Berman, who chairs the IP subcommittee and is known for being a big friend to big copyright (representing parts of LA explains that), welcomed the formation of this group without bothering to question why it's even needed in the first place.

I copy these articles because I'm never sure if they'll stay on the 'net :P

PS3 Buildup

Thinking hard about how the world really is can HURT, so I went back to some old game news and found something nicely written:

If you thought the pile of PS3 at your local retailer was big, think again!
I spent my lunch hour reading the latest news and noticed the Sony announcement of the financial results for the year on Yahoo. At the end of this article there were a few sentences that caught my eye: "A total of 5.5 million PlayStation 3 consoles were shipped between the November launch and the end of March. That's below Sony's target of 6 million. The company cited production delays that have now been fixed. The shipment numbers count consoles as they leave Sony's factories and include those in warehouses and en route to retailers. The number of consoles sold to retailers stood at around 3.6 million, said Oneda."

Having 1.9 million (5.5 million minus 3.6 million) PS3 en route and in warehouses seems like an awful lot, doesn't it? Since my company does a lot of shipping from Asia to Europe and North America and I know the shipping times, I decided to apply some math to see where all those 1.9 million actually are.

First, let's assume that all shipping is done by boat. Given the reports of PS3's stacked up in stores, there is no need to air freight PS3 anymore. Shipping time from Asia to North America is 6 weeks if shipping to the east coast, less to the west coast. Shipping time from Asia to Europe is 4 weeks. For shipping time within Asia, let's assume 2 weeks. We will assume that the PS3 manufacturer needs 4 days to get the newly manufactured units on the boat. At the other end, let's assume 4 days to get the PS3's off the boat and into the Sony warehouse and let's assume one week to ship it from the warehouse to the retailer. Total transit time for North America is then 57 days, for Europe 43 days and for Asia 29 days.

Now let's look at the sales figures and see what that gives. NPD reports indicate that the PS3 is selling about 130k per month in the US. Let's be generous and say they sell 6k per day when adding Canada. For Europe, let's use the same number (6k per day) since there is not that much data available. For Asia, the PS sells about 15k per week in Japan, so let's say 3k per day when adding the other Asian countries.

Given all these assumptions, how many PS3 need to be in transit to keep the product flowing to retailers:
- For North America: 57 * 6k = 342k
- For Europe: 43 * 6k = 258k
- For Asia: 29 * 3k = 87k
Total: 687k

With 687k in transit needed to resupply the retailers, where are the other 1.2+ million PS3? Most likely in storage waiting for sales to pick up. That is a gigantic amount of consoles to have in inventory, costing interest and not producing revenue. Sony must be in deeper trouble than I thought.

It can be argued that other territories need to be added such as Australia/New Zeeland but these are small and do not materially affect the analysis. The other contributor could be if Sony was stockpiling PS3 for a launch but I am only aware of Korea which is a PC-centric market up to now.

Nifty! Someone is actually thinking!


Well last night my ADD laiden brain spent a few cycles on my previous post, The United States of America is only as good as its laws, and thought of a few things:

  1. Only part of the information I found is true - leaps of logic and conclusions abound.
  2. Since every person, even a scientist, is altered by his emotional makeup, his humanistic traits, we can assume that the same is true of people who spend a decent amount of time researching how those in power manipulate those beneath them.
  3. Conspiracy theorists are adversarial and assume those in power collude against them. The problem is this can be true.
  4. I believe the USA is heading towards fascism for one simple reason: we are giving up freedoms and giving more and more power to the Federal Government. This always ends in disaster for any republic. The people vote power away and then cry when it's used against them.
So, despite the conspiracy theorists whose diatribes border rampant fiction, there is truth in where this country is headed, and just like Germany, the people want it to happen. They can't see the end.