Thursday, February 17, 2011
Aspirin, Duct Tape, WD-40 and the DCE
I often feel like an 1890’s salesman of aspirin. Or a 1940’s salesman for duct tape. Or a 1950’s salesman for WD-40.
I can see myself knocking on doors and hearing people say,
“What is it, pain reliever?” “I’ve got Dr. Good’s.”
“What is it? Tape??” “I’ve got all kinds of tape.”
“What is it, lubricant?” “What’s wrong with oil??”
.... and getting the door slammed on my foot!
Eventually, though, people realized that there was something key about aspirin . . . that it could fight headaches as well as muscle soreness, prevent strokes and be used topically for cold sores. To this day, aspirin is being looked at to fight cataracts, cancer . . . you name it.
Duct tape and WD-40, as any homeowner knows, are similarly key. You do not buy these items for one purpose alone. Problems arise in the home, and you apply duct tape or WD-40. And because WD-40 and duct tape have the right principle they usually work.
The DCE principle:
· Fights piracy;
· Allows libraries to be better libraries;
· Allows people to enjoy their video and music collections more;
· Allows people to share mix-tapes;
· Allows content owners to cut out the middle man and keep more money for themselves;
· Allows radio stations to reduce the cost of music;
· Allows colleges and universities to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act without throttling legitimate research;
· Reduces the cost of text books for students;
· Brings online all of the knowledge contained in all of the books of the world and makes it searchable.
· Saves space;
· Is environmentally friendly
. . . to name just a few. But you try selling all of that. We get told all of the time, “people do not want that,” “they are happy with their [fill in the blank],” etc. Like they said about products like duct tape in the 1940s. And sometimes to add insult to injury, people look at you like you are a wacky professor. I am sure that the aspirin, WD-40 and duct tape guys got that "look" quite often, too.
Decades transpired before aspirin, duct tape and WD-40 were welcomed into peoples' homes en masse. The DCE was created by a patent filing March 4, 2004. So since it has only been seven years, we are doing pretty well in that comparison.
We probably do not even know half the uses to which the DCE will be put some day. Because the DCE correctly analyzes the problem that arose for content owners at the beginning of the digital age, it is a solution that will continue to reap additional solutions to those who apply it creatively.
Unlike duct tape, however, our solution, in order to be scaled up, requires cooperation among some (but by no means all) of the folks who create, sell or play media. Right now, these folks would rather fight among themselves.