[mythtv-users] Written proof that we've all been conned about SD

kijuhty kijuhty kijuhty at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 06:41:50 UTC 2007

My frustration has *nothing* to do with whether Tribune tried to con anyone
or whether Isaac, Myth, SD, Tribune or anyone else is making any money.  Nor
any posts like Andreas' or Brad's that argue that SD is a good thing.  It's
not about that.  My frustration is that talking to the guys who insist TMS
really was going to shut down zap2it labs is like talking to someone from
the flat earth society.  You can point out crystal clear facts over and over
again, but no matter how much logic and reason you throw at the person,
they're still convinced the earth is flat.  R.G. and John both insist that
my conclusion is wrong "that if the Myth community said 'no' to SD and
threatened to do screen scraping, then the guide data would still be free
like it was before".

That is what is so shocking...  It is so obvious and so logical.  Have you
guys seen a company's income statement before?  You know: Revenue - Expenses
= Profit.  The whole goal of a company is to boost revenue and reduce
expenses.  *EVERY* company does that.

The post I referred to (assuming it's true) indicates that a commercial
sponsor offered to cover all the costs of implementing zap2it *and* pay
Tribune money.  On the income statement that means a positive number goes
onto the revenue section (the sponsorship money), and there's a reduction in
the expense section (the cost of implementing zap2it labs).  Positive
revenue plus less expenses = MORE PROFIT, which equals more dividends for
the shareholders and bigger bonuses for the executives.  With me so far?

But John insists that instead of taking the sponsorship offer to keep data
direct free, which equals profit, TMS would have shut down data direct,
forcing users to screen scrape and then "TMS would then make the data harder
to scrape and also pursue legal action against the copyright violations just
as software companies go after piracy."

Hmmm...  If TMS did this, then the net impact on the income statement would
be (a) a reduction in revenue, since they would give up the revenue from the
sponsorship, and (b) a huge increase in the expenses, since they would have
to pay developers to rewrite the site and pay attorneys to go after the
violators, knowing the violators had no money to pay any settlement.  They
wouldn't do this.  EVER!  It makes no sense.  No company turns down positive
revenue and negative expenses and opts instead to reduce revenue and
increase expenses like John and R.G. are asserting.  It just doesn't
happen.  If a company says they're going to do this, *THEY'RE BLUFFING*!
Tribune was NOT going to shut down zap2it labs if the Myth community
rejected SD; they would have accepted the sponsor instead.  They were
bluffing.  Duh!

Imagine if a company said to the RIAA "We're going to fund a venture that
will stop anybody from illegally stealing music again, *AND* we will pay you
money for the privilege of doing it."  What would the RIAA do?  Say, "No, we
don't want your money, and we want kids to steal music because we like suing
them, even though we never get anything from them."  That's exactly what
John and R.G. are saying.  According to that pluto post (again, this is all
assuming it's real), a sponsor agreed to fund a venture that would have
prevented anybody from even contemplating stealing Tribune's guide data,
*AND* would have paid Tribune for the privilege of doing it.  But you guys
are arguing that "No, TMS wouldn't have accepted their offer.  They would
have instead killed data direct so that everybody started screen scraping so
then TMS could spend a fortune suing everyone."  It makes no sense!
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