It’s no secret that Big Content is more than a little schizophrenic when it comes to technology, seeing death knells in the very disruptions that later become their lifeblood. In this vein, I saw the other day that Warner Brothers Australia has begun including shouts from Trakt users on their movie pages. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see them making use of the service. It just amuses me, because using Trakt involves “scrobbling” the videos you watch, much as Last.fm does for music. It interfaces with software like XBMC that plays movies and TV shows stored as digital files.
Do you see the disconnect here? The information Warner Brothers is using to add value to their website is generated by people watching digital files—files that must be created by ripping a DVD you own, thus breaking the onerous DRM, or by downloading a rip made by someone else, usually shared through peer-to-peer software. This also takes place in Australia, the country where it is currently illegal to rip a CD you own to mp3.
Essentially, Warner Brothers is endorsing behavior they and their industry cronies have and continue to champion against, decrying it in all sorts of inflammatory language. Why? Because the people behind the website recognize correctly that it adds value to the content and simply makes sense, something most of us have inherently understood for years.