Technology Advances Demand New Business Models

Copying and counterfeiting are a reality worldwide. Law enforcement is ineffective. To protect rights and profits, businesses must adapt. Staying competitive requires keeping ahead of the copycats and the changing technology.

Copyright law protects the rights of authors (creators of original works). It was written into the United States Constitution in 1787 when the printing press was the primary means of reproducing works. Since then, the technology to enable copying has evolved dramatically.

> Allowable or Infringing use?

Under the “fair use” doctrine, limited use of a copyrighted work is allowed for personal or educational use. Penalties for infringement are severe. Minimum damages are $750 for each copyrighted work that was infringed, with higher damages if the infringement is “willful,” plus costs and attorneys fees.

> Technology Advances

Copy machines and VCRs are examples of the progression of copying technology. The courts struggled to establish standards for allowable use of these technologies. It is also allowable to make a few copies for personal use or to record a movie for viewing at another time. Making money from a copyright protected work is not allowed without permission from the Copyright owner.

File sharing capability, such as with Napster and Grokster, have enabled downloading music from the Internet. This has caused upheaval in the music industry. Proceeds from the legitimate sale of music support not only the recording artists and songwriters, but also all the support staff and the workers in the sales and distribution channels. To protect their profits, the record companies have resorted to suing individuals (including minor children) with their claims of damages.

The lawsuits have not stopped the copying. Technology continues to progress. P2P (peer to peer) networking capability, such as BitTorrent (which was created to enable the transmission of huge electronic files to assist Linux developers) has now been applied to the copying of TV shows and films. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has filed lawsuits to stop the trading of pirated movies and TV programs over the Internet.

> Law Enforcement Ineffective

The reality is that counterfeiting is rampant (and spans many industries in addition to music, including for example, computer software and apparel). Enforcement efforts are undermined by the public perception that greedy companies maximize every dollar and prevent consumers from getting a good deal.

The U.S. Congress tried to help with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which made it against the law to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms, but it has been ineffective and misapplied. For example, Lexmark tried to prevent remanufactured (refilled) toner cartridges for its printers by invoking DMCA, alleging copyright infringement of the interface software code. The case has implications for all “aftermarket” businesses (e.g., video game cartridges for games, or windshield wipers for autos).

Lawsuits, and laws, lag technology and are, at best, only a temporary way to protect rights and profits.

> New Business Models

It is much more effective to adopt a business model that anticipates the reality of copying and find a way to make money in spite of it. Evolving business models include subscription pricing and pay per use. These models enable consumers to obtain copies “legally” for a reasonable price.

Another evolving model is illustrated by Amazon, which has opened up its API’s (application programming interfaces) to enable a whole range of “partners” to access Amazon’s data and build their own storefronts that draw on the Amazon data and infrastructure. Amazon insists that purchases be completed through Amazon and the “partner” site owners receive a commission. With this approach, Amazon expands its customer reach and the partners profit from leveraging the Amazon data and infrastructure.

> Technology Continues to Advance

In conclusion, copying and counterfeiting are a reality worldwide and especially in countries such as China. To protect rights and profits, businesses must adapt. Staying competitive requires keeping ahead of the copycats and the changing technology. Companies cannot reply on law enforcement to stop copying, nor is it realistic to stifle the advancement of technology. It is much more effective to develop a business model that embraces the reality of advancing technology.

What Do HDMI Cables Support?

The High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) products for consumers were first offered in 2003 and since then, this technology has seen a great surge in popularity. Today, you can use HDMI cables with personal computers, Blu-Ray Disc and high definition DVD players, gaming consoles, and even the latest digital cameras and camcorders are sold with mini-HDMI connectors. The evolution in the technology has brought a number of new versions and while the oldest, 1.0 HDMI cables, were and are still great for many devices and applications, the latest, 1.4 and 1.4a come with extended capabilities and are likely to offer everything that you might need.

One of the most frequently asked questions, when it comes to this technology is “what do HDMI cables support?” The answer is not straightforward or simple since this greatly depends on the HDMI version – for starters, all versions support sRGB, YCbCr, channel LPCM, 192 kHz, 24 bit audio capability, Blu-Ray Disc and HD DVD video and audio at full resolution, and Consumer Electronic Control. Each one of these abbreviations stands for different technology or specification – sRGB is standard RGB color space, which is used in printers and monitors, YCbCr is a family of color spaces, which is used in digital photography and video, and the Consumer Electronic Control ensures a minimal level of functionality. As newer HDMI versions were released, each one of them added new features – all cables since 1.2 come with DVD-Audio support, 1.2 added Super Audio CD (DSD) support, and with 1.3 came Deep Color, xvyCC, Auto lip-sync, Dolby TrueHD bitstream capable, DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream, and an updated list of CEC commands. The latest (at the time of this writing) 1.4 version was officially released on May 28th, 2009, and added Ethernet channel, audio return channel, 3D over HDMI, and 4K × 2K Resolution Support. The 1.4 supports a number of 3D formats such as interlaced field alternative, frame packing, side-by-side half, side-by-side full, line alternative full, 2D + depth, and 2D + depth + graphics + graphics depth. Well, if this is not sufficient, then there is the Audio return channel added and the Ethernet channel, which supports 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection between two HDMI devices.

If all you need is a HDMI cable for your home thither, then buying the latest version should normally work like a charm – simply make sure to choose a high quality cable, which you can easily find in any of the electronic stores or online.

What’s The Best Way to Get Multiple Auto Insurance Quotes?

If you’ve recently bought a car or you already have one but need to change your insurance policy, then it would be a good idea to get multiple insurance quotes so that you can compare prices and get the best value for your money.

By comparing quotes, you will be able distinguish which companies offer the best service without necessarily charging too much. The question herein lies: how do you get multiple insurance quotes?

Auto Insurance Quotes: In Retrospect

In the past, to get multiple insurance quotes you had to call up each insurance company and ask them for the relevant information. You either had to do that or you had to pay a broker to do the legwork for you (for an extra fee). The entire process is not only tedious, it is time-consuming as well. There are now new options due to the advance of technology; everything is digital and everything is accessible online.

Finding Auto Insurance Quotes Online

You can access different goods and services online, complete with voice technical support and a lot of information. The internet has been very efficient in providing the latest information (unless the site is not being maintained) even with auto insurance companies.

There are two things that you can opt for if you are going to collect auto insurance quotes online. First step is to Google different insurance sites and search for their quotes individually. While this may not be as tedious as picking up the phone and dialing every insurance company that you’ve listed, it can also be very time consuming and not appealing for everyone to do. There are even instances when you would have to navigate through the website just to find the specific insurance quotes offered to you.

The second option would be to choose insurance comparison sites. The creation of comparison sites have allowed individual consumers to read reviews and recommendations from other customers which can significantly aid you in finding the right auto insurance for you and your particular situation.

All you need to do is input the information that you will need and voila! Comparison sites do the rest. If you’re pretty busy with work and your family and still need to get insurance for yourself, your family and your kids, then using comparison shopping sites is the best choice for you.

One thing that you need to remember, though, when it comes to choosing auto insurance quotes is credibility. The site that you will be visiting should be reliable, efficient and updated with the correct information. The insurance comparison site should not be from one of the major insurance carriers but rather a trusted third party for best results.