ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs Serial storyteller, poetry pusher, digital doodler, flâneur.

Digitisation and its Discontents

Stuck in a time warp (image via The Economist)
The Beatles (Photo credit: The Economist)

The band of analogue holdouts is gradually dwindling. Because they are so few and so large, the holdouts are valuable: any technology firm that can persuade the Beatles to go digital will reap fat rewards. Theft provides another stimulus. All the analogue holdouts are widely available online—just not legally. That seems to be persuading even Harry Potter to look more closely at digital distribution. As Neil Blair of the Christopher Little agency, which represents J.K. Rowling, admits, holding the books back from e-readers “is not the best strategy for combating piracy”. (The Economist)

The Economist’s July 22 look at media’s analogue holdouts such as “the Beatles, Harry Potter, Bella magazine and the grizzled crew of the Northwestern, an Alaskan crab-fishing boat”. These “digital resisters refuse to distribute over the internet” at least in part because the financial view is decidedly more bleak than the analogue realm where they’re managing to endure. At least so far. Of course, pirated content circulates the net illegally, and this means that there is value being lost by not digitizing. Is the exodus from analogue to digital inevitable?

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