Record company executives are cutting off their tails an inch at the time

My father used to say, “Don’t cut a dog’s tail off an inch at a time.” As we never had a dog with a cut-off tail, I think he was using the saying allegorically — or, as he would say, as an illustration — to explain how we often needlessly inflict more pain on ourselves by addressing a problem incrementally rather than definitively. As I recall, he used it in an illustration about quitting smoking cold turkey vs. quitting smoking a little at the time. I don’t know why he would use that illustration about smoking, as he never smoked. Which reminds me of the time my dad asked me: “Did you hear about the guy who got so tired of reading about how bad smoking is for you that he decided to give up reading?”

I remembered what my dad said when I read this New York Times article about how some record label executives came up with the idea that people may like to download 1/2 of a song if it is DRM-free. I thought of how painful it must be for record company executives to cut off their tails an inch at a time with such strategies.

Which reminds me of the story about the record label executive who got so tired of reading about how bad DRM is that he gave up reading.

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