The Joost TV Business Model

I will not be buying shares in Joost any time soon. This is not because they don’t have a good product – having been on their beta testing swarm for the last few months, I think it’s quite nice really. The trouble is, according to the Guardian they will be getting their content from media owners based on a lie. The lie is as follows:

“… Joost boasts a secure, efficient, piracy-proof internet platform, and is guaranteeing copyright protection for content owners and creators.”

What a wonderful example of hubris: DRM will preserve the sanctity of copyright for the owners of films and videos and they can use the net as just another distribution channel. Phew! Thank god for Joost!

Unfortunately though, that won’t happen. It takes approximately 4 minutes for cracked versions of music from the iTunes store to appear on the P2P networks (according to Big Champagne). What makes Joost – or more accurately their investors – think that won’t happen to them?
I suppose the Graun can’t get it right every time, but let’s make this the subject of experiment. Give Joost the benefit of the doubt, put them up against Cory Doctorow‘s assertion:

“I believe that we live in an era where anything that can be expressed as bits will be. I believe that bits exist to be copied. Therefore, I believe that any business-model that depends on your bits not being copied is just dumb, and that lawmakers who try to prop these up are like governments that sink fortunes into protecting people who insist on living on the sides of active volcanoes.”

Joost are pitching their tent right now. Let’s see how long they last.