Max Headroom: A Object Lesson For Content Owners
When I think back to the 1980s, Max Headroom can’t help but make an appearance in my mind. The “New Coke” ads, the video for Paranomia from The Art of Noise, and of course the TV show. Those were the days.
The show lasted two “seasons,” but not your typical 23 season show in the US, but the more typical 6-8 show “season” in the UK. A total of 14 shows aired here in the US. Canceled. A victim of a series of unfortunate events.
As much as I’d like to be able to, say, buy a DVD of these shows, I can’t. The shows are, at least according to one Max Headroom fansite, mired in rights issues. That being said, some of the episodes are on AOL TV. And, of course, there’s Bittorrent.
Here’s a show that, clearly had some following, given the number of fan sites I’ve seen over the years. It had a run on TechTV a few years ago. Today, there is no legal way for me to watch the entire run of the show.
Content owners: wake up. If you don’t give people any choice, they will resort to less than legal means to obtain the content they want. Add hurdles to obtaining the content, such as a high price or technical inconveniences like DRM, and you get the same result. If it’s not clear who owns the content, work it out. Quit leaving money on the table or locking up content because you can’t figure out how to extract every last cent from it.