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Alki David is a British actor who is trying to launch filmon.com, has accused CBS and Viacom systematically destroying the film and television business by distributing over a billion torrent applications and illegal hacking software from their website CNET.


 

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Clearly David has an axe to grind (he's being sued by the major networks including CBS), however his argument is sound.

The first minute of the video is confusing but it really makes a compelling point.
 

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Too broad a complaint

Something tells me that CBS Corporation is more of a collection of entities as opposed to a vertically-integrated organization. It seems as though the TV network execs are not aware of the C/Net activities any more than they are of CBS Outdoor's sales of signage to competing TV networks during Sweeps Week.

If each corporate entity in their organization is fairly separate and has its own agendae then Mr. David's complaint is too general. Nevertheless at the top of the pyramid it would make for good discussion material at a meeting of the CBS Corporation board of directors.
 

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CNet has been operating download.com well before (and I mean years before) CBS acquired them. There's no conspiracy going on here. CNet has been allowed and is still allowed to operate independently. In fact, if you listen to their podcasts (namely Buzzout Loud), they constantly and openly criticize DRM, ACTA, 3-strike laws, etc. And they always call for open net/net neutrality.

He shows MP3 Rocket, but that software is not illegal. Just as an FTP client is not illegal. The service offered may be (and probably is), but providing the software is not breaking the law.
 

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I don't think he is saying there is a conspiracy and I don't think he ever says the software is illegal but consider his point.

On one hand Viacom/CBS, sues YouTube for a billion dollars for "massive" piracy and rails against it but on the other hand they generate millions by being a repository and indexer of Video pirate tools.

I would say they have been hoisted up on their own petard.
 

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Can't say how I feel on this one without breaking out the numbers. How much revenue online ad revenue does CNET bring in vs how much entertainment/broadcast side revenue is CBS losing because of illegal downloading?

I'd have to believe that the losses due to Bittorrent et al are much higher than the CNET site revenue, so the business case for using CNET to promote BT and other apps as part of a deliberate CBS strategy to drive ad revenue would be a non-starter(unless they've thrown in the towel on stopping downloading and view CNET as a mitigation tool - now that would be an interesting story)

But I don't think that's it. Given my (long) experience with large organizations, I have to agree with the view that this is CBS top execs not having a handle on the details of what CNET is doing, or not caring because CNET is ant-size in relation to their overall portfolio, or both. I wouldn't expect anyone on CBS' exec team to know about what freeware is being offered on a sub's website.

There's some irony, but nothing to build a campaign or crusade on. This guy is just unhappy about how illegal downloading and restricted ability to license premium content is hurting the business model of his venture.
 
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