I've written a little bit about the impact of The Long Tail before I even knew what The Long Tail was. If you have some time, read the excellent 1-year old essay here by Chris Anderson. It illuminates the way things are going to work in the new market and the rules that companies must follow:

  1. Make Everything Available
  2. Cut the price in half. Now lower it.
  3. Help Me Find It

I started thinking about this again while watching some Our Gang (Little Rascals) VHS tapes I borrowed from the library. I would gladly pay to have restored, remastered and uncut/uncensored versions of these great films on DVD (especially if they had the same level of care present in the
Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVDs
), yet they are simply NOT AVAILABLE. There were some Cabin Fever DVDs that were released years ago that are long out of print. I'm currently on the eBay hunt for Laserdisc versions of these films. Ironically because whoever owns the rights to these films are not releasing them, they are contributing to a thriving piracy/bootleg community (I was very suprised to find snazzy-looking bootleg DVDs of these films on Amazon, of all places!).

My general rule is: Plunk down my hard-earned cash for the stuff that is available and quite simply bootleg the rest... If you lock up national treasures, don't expect people to take it sitting down. The bottom line is this: I want my kids to experience some of the great things that I did as a kid. I am not going to let the fact that certain films are entangled in ownership or censorship battles or that some marketing executives feel that there isn't a market for such and such a film stand in the way of enriching my children's life experience (and yes, I know there is more to a children's life experience than watching some funny shows - but that was a big part of mine). My kids will soon grow up - and I don't have the luxury of waiting until you sort out your legal battles or clear things with the politically correct crowd. I need to act now.

I will apply the same rationale to Disney's Song Of The South (may be released by Disney November 2006) and those great black and white Fleischer Popeye films that are being held for ransom by King Features Syndicate. Release these films and we'll buy them! In today's Long Tail world there is profit to be made.

§175 · October 31, 2005 · Cartoons, Entertainment, Kids, Life, Movies · · [Print]

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