Copyright Clash: Strategy, Tactics or Implementation?

Who wins in a Digital Rights Management (DRM)-driven world? Is it strategy, tactics, or, more simply, implementation? Or perhaps, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, machines set in motion that nobody steers?

With an intriguing reference to how jeans maker Levi Strauss built a fortune from the 1849 California gold rush, Seth Godin suggests that the lawyers are the real winners in the growing copyright fight around YouTube, Internet radio, and digital rights management.

“In most of these cases, the lawyers get paid by the hour. A copyright holder pays a retainer and the associates just churn and churn and churn. They’ve got a form letter and a whois lookup and they send out another letter. That’s their job. Not to win, but to keep the cycle moving. It’s a bit like selling jeans.”

The magic, he suggests, is “billable hours.” He says at the end:

Nine times out of ten, regardless of the industry, strategy is a byproduct of a series of tactics.” (italics are his)

I think this also illustrates another angle, related to business planning, one of my favorites:

“A practical business plan includes ten parts implementation for every one part strategy.”

That last quote is mine, from

— Tim


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