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Streaming will never stop downloading

Dec 11, 2009, 14:33 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cory Doctorow)

[ Thanks to Barbara I. Irwin for this link. ]

"Someone convinced the record and movie and TV industries that there is way of letting someone listen to audio or watch video over the internet without making a copy. They call this "streaming" audio, and compare it to radio, and contrast it with "downloading", which they compare to buying a CD.

"The idea that you can show someone a movie over the internet without making a copy has got lots of people in policy circles excited, since it seems to "solve the copyright problem". If services such as Hulu, Last.fm and YouTube can "play you a file" instead of "sending you a file", then we're safely back in the pre-Napster era. You can sell subscriptions to on-demand streaming, and be sure that your subscribers will never stop paying, since they don't own their favourite entertainment and will have to stump up in order to play it again.

"There's only one problem: Streaming doesn't exist."

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