It looks as if I’m never going to hear the end of my somewhat injudicious and emotional (not to mention tired) question to the DRM panel at 3GSM. But that’s life. I was however hurt by the criticism that I was being sexist.
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I called the panel “big girls”, not “girlie men”, and it was as a commonly-used derivative of the Northern English phrase “big girls blouses”. Word detective calls it “one of those British idioms that are very hard for Americans to grasp”, which is a little harsh. It means wimp, but not in the sense of the Schwarzenegger “girlie men” comment (which has undeniable undertones) but in the sense (as I understand it) of someone slightly puffed out but ultimately empty. In fact, an American guide to speaking English that I found on the web calls it a “nice way of saying that someone is a wimp”.
Meanwhile, I’ve discovered that the global telecommunications industry will spend about a trillion dollars worldwide this year. By comparison, according to the accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers, the entire US filmed entertainment industry (box office, online, home video and rentals) was $51 billion. Of this, about a quarter is box office, a quarter TV and half is video/dvd (the main bit that would be threatened in the absence of DRM). In other words, the telecommunications industry could use one-fortieth of its annual spending to just buy the entire US filmed entertainment industry video/dvd output and give the stuff away to sell handsets, video players, set-top boxes or whatever else. I must stress this is not an original observation of mine: Andrew Odlyzko started me thinking about this a long time ago in an article for the excellent journal First Monday.
Incidentally, “Hollywood” generates about $10 billion in annual revenues, about the same as the US video game business. Jupiter Research say that global mobile phone game revenue will reach $430 million in 2009. Vodafone and DoCoMo alone have $100 billion in annual revenue.