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Eisner blames Jobs, and Radiohead cleans up


From the "whatever you say, Eisner" department, Engadget brings news that former Disney honcho Michael Eisner is blaming the guy who originally wore the black turtleneck and jeans for the Writers Guild of America strike, of all things. In an interview with a CNET blog, Eisner says that Steve Jobs is taking media companies "to the cleaners," and that Jobsy's the one to blame for the writers' low pay on digital media distribution. "If I was a union," he says, undoubtedly making union leaders' heads everywhere fold back in on themselves with the irony, "I'd be striking up wherever he is."

Strange then, that this same day, we also get a story about how Radiohead is doing with their online distribution deal. You'll remember that they passed on iTunes to distribute their music themselves, and now we're hearing that, after all is said and done, Radiohead earned an average of $2.26 per album by asking listeners to download the album for free and pay them whatever they thought it was worth. "$2.26 per album?" you say. "They got screwed! iTunes charges $10!"

Ah yes, but apparently Radiohead would have made about $1 per album if they'd gone through traditional channels. So actually, the creators doubled their income per sale. Eisner's crazy-- Jobs isn't to blame for this strike, it's content distributors who don't pay content creators enough for digital distribution. But given that Radiohead is cashing in (and gaining public goodwill to boot), maybe the Writers Guild have a lesson to learn here as well.

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