I should be writing this down in Portuguese since it’s all based on recent events in Portugal, where I live. However, after a few chats, friends all over the world say that it’s universal and can relate with these subjects.
This post is focused about two main events or situations that are happening right now, as I write this. One is the absurd new tax on Digital Storage Devices that it’s going to be (supposedly) delivered to the Copyright Artists Association. The other is about the fight that cab drivers are doing against any new trend that comes to eventually change their way of life.
The two subjects can be discussed in this post since both are related on the same problem itself.
Fight Against Change
Both of these businesses are dealing with major changes right now.
The Entertaining Industry (mainly Music and Movie Industry for that matter) are seeing their revenue declining by 90% in eight years. EIGHT YEARS. That’s on slow death don’t you think?
But it isn’t the death of the artists if they evolve and try to find their way on this brave new world that’s going to evolve beyond the big shot labels. It’s the death of the ones that have controlled this media for years and now are seeing their “goose’s golden eggs” being stripped away from their greedy hands. But I’m deviating from the subject at this point since this law to be announced today is about another principle.
The Private Copy Law
Basically, the private copy law that’s going to be claimed today, if the parliament supports it, states that Every single Storage Device like Pen Drives, Hard Drives, Solid State Drives or whatever digital storage device, should be taxed and that revenue is going to be delivered to the Portuguese Authors Association. Think about it for a moment. It’s not about the actual money itself that’s going to be charged at the product. It’s the all principle.
This means that if you buy a music album at the iTunes store, you’re going to be charged at least twice: one for the record itself and then again when you’ve purchased the computer or iPhone, iPod, whatever the devices that you’ve got because they have a digital storage within. It turns even worse: If you don’t ever buy or store any of this content you’ll still be charged for something that’s only going to be used as a storage device for your own content.
It’s a completely unfair law that the only purpose is to give a little more life to a dying industry. They’re refusing, for at least eight years, to see the change and the new media consumption trends in the world. And by that, they use lobbys and political strength to try to stop the inevitable.
They’re refusing to see.
Taxi Companies and Taxi Owners
Since alternative transit companies have been created, taxi companies are in rally all over the world. The most evident Threat for them right now is Uber (a company that makes the connection between car owners and people needing a faster way to find a ride and sometimes to choose the class of the car). But in Lisbon, there’s a large set of tuk-tuk’s that are creating a dent on their taxi driving business or so they claim. For those that don’t know, a tuk-tuk it’s like a motorised tricycle that takes two or more people on a more open way to see the scenery and the city. There’s a picture bellow to get an idea:
Photo Source Pedro Moura Pinheiro
It’s more fun for tourists visiting the city to see the surroundings using this kind of transport since it’s more open, different from the usual stuff and it has young and interesting, educated drivers that can give them a cultural insight about what they’re seeing. However, taxi drivers are really upset with this kind of competition since they claim that it’s unfair. The Taxi companies claim that these other alternatives doesn’t have so much regulation like they do. For instance, the permit it’s about 800€ and they have a lot of things to comply like location boarders and alcohol limits. They say that eventually this is going to prevent them to have the money to renovate their fleet, have better drivers due to proper learning classes and so on.
Yes, it needs to be better regulated for sure. It’s the public safety that we’re talking about here. However, it seems another consecutive case of Business Blindness. Instead of embracing change and trying to diversify their product offer with similar trends, or even to upgrade their driving experience offering language and cultural classes to their drivers to give them the necessary tools to compete, they try to stop the change for any means necessary.
The situation is becoming alarming since some taxi drivers are becoming violent, according to the news they already have throw two tuk-tuk’s to the river and in traffic they try to purposely difficult these drivers a hard time.
This is no way to stop Change. Actually we must not Stop Change. We must embrace Change every day in our personal and professional life. It’s the only way to avoid being squashed in the future by… Change.
Original Tittle Photo from Yaniv Golan