Post of the Day
February 14, 2000

Board Name:
America Online

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Subject:  Water Rights
Author:  hammer89

I had an epiphany last night, I don't know if it came naturally, or if it was artificially induced.

Before I start, I'll tell you my AOL story. I don't use AOL as my server � I had a bad experience with them.

About five years ago my daughter was 15 and my son was 13. One day it happened, we received in the mail, an innocuous little disc. Try AOL get X hours free. Mom, Dad, can we, please, please, please! Ok, let's do it.

The first month, the free hours were burned through, plus I had a bill for about $50. What the Hell! I say to the kids, "Hey, I can't afford this kind of nonsense, you're going to have to ration yourself." Hindsight being what it is � it was like giving a drunk a key to the liquor cabinet.

The second month � over $60. Well, I won't type what was said. However, I told them, you guys don't get this under control, I'll pull the plug.

The third month � over $50. The plug was pulled and I went to a $19.95/month flat rate service.

My daughter is in college, my son leaves this coming fall � they're the MTV generation, and they YAHOO.

Back to Water Rights. I've read so many messages on content, libraries, music, content, access, content, speed, content, content. It never really dawned on me � must be a simple mind, but as they say simple minds think alike.

Water is an important resource, and was absolutely critical for the growth of this country. I think the important issues are:

1. Owning the rights to water. If you didn't own the rights to water, you had to buy them from someone who did. They set the rates based on demands � if they consented to sell at all. Water rights are still a critical issue out West.
2. Getting the water to where you needed it.

Entertainment (Movies, music, chat rooms, games, etc) is like water, you either have the rights to it, or, you have to buy it from someone else. Now it's not a finite source, entertainment is being created all the time, but if you don't own the rights, you have to buy it from someone else.

Getting the entertainment to where you want it. In the old days it depended on pipe size and pump capacity. A big pump and big pipe allowed you to pump a heck of a lot of water to where you wanted it.

Here is my opinion, and simplistic analogy.

AOL just purchased one of the biggest reservoirs of entertainment in the world. They own the rights to a boatload of entertainment, not only can they use it, but, they can sell it to others. They've gone from a buyer - to an owner and seller.

AOL has always been able to get entertainment to where they wanted it, but not at the volume and speed they would like. AOL has bought the rights to a very big pipe and pump. They'll be able to pump their entertainment at the volume and speed they want, wherever they want, whenever they want.

I know this is simplistic, and the devil is in the details. If past performance is any indicator, I think Mr. Case and AOL have a better than even chance of making this experiment work.

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