acubed comments

Posted in: Warner CEO sees e-book `fracas' as helping music See in context

Music and book publishers are still convinced that they are producing and selling Rolls-Royce cars when, in reality, their product has become as commoditised as a hamburger. The pricing they are setting is predicated on the idea that they sell an individuated premium product, when what they are selling is, for most people, background (particularly music) not foreground.In addition, the old argument over the price of CDs and books, which they claimed were set at the prices they were due to production, storage, distribution, wholesaler and retailer costs and profits. With electronic files there is no storage, minimal distribution costs and no wholesaler. Why haven't prices come down? Because the publishers believe that they're selling a Rolls-Royce for which they can charge what they like, rather than a hamburger which has a very slim profit margin. The fact that authors/musicians still only see a tiny proportion of this same (or higher) selling price despite lower distribution costs provides an emotional justification to "consumers" for sharing on unauthorised networks. provide access at a subscription rate, on easy-to-use (i.e. not rstricted to a single OS or platform) or at a very low price (10c per file) and you'll find that most people will pay for the access. Simple economics that the publishers are completely blind to. Then you cut the ridiculous costs of advertising, executives pay, "fruit'n'flowers" and return to your core business of identifying and developing talent, and providing polishing services (copy-editing, mixing etc) on top.

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Posted in: The dumbing down of Japanese students See in context

First thing you need to do is stop using the cutesy name for it. Call it what it actually is: In English, "Cheating"; In Japanese "Kataru" or "Damasu". I'm about to start teaching at a Japanese University, though at the graduate school level. having just dealt with a 10% plagiarism rate in an assignment for a large class in the UK, I had been hoping it might be less of a problem in Japan. I'll have to keep just as alert, though, I see.

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