Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
Subject:   not really
Date:   2003-04-29 04:39:17
From:   jwenting
Response to: not really

I hope you are right about the industry being able to survive in the long run in an economic system where filesharing as it is today is an accepted phenomenon by that industry, but I have serious doubts.

There have been several initiatives to sell MP3 or other music files over the internet by record companies, AFAIK none have been successful.
Here in the Netherlands a chain of music stores last year (or maybe 2001) started a largescale pilot together with record companies where people could assemble their own CDs with a selection of music (current and older) and have it burned for them in the store (or order online and have it delivered to their door), which goes a long way towards destroying the claim of "I do it only to see if I like the artist before going out and buying an album", yet the piracy of music (both largescale by people leeching music off the web and selling it and smallscale by people leeching a few CDs for their own use) has risen sharply (keeping track with both the drop in sale of CDs and the rise of the number of highspeed internet connections).

Industry initiatives to sell music in electronic format are met with "why should I buy it if I can get it for free", not with "that's a good initiative, now I don't have to resort to pirated music anymore", despite reasonable prices (1 or so per track, a bit more for physical distribution).

The problem is indeed in part the lack of industry understanding of the current technical and social-economic climate, I don't deny that.
But in large part the problem is more about the lack of respect among the averate end-user for the intellectual rights of others (coming at the same time as a marked drop in the respect for physical ownership of items).
The industry embracing new technologies won't cure that, and unless means can be found to both combat the illegal use of those technologies and protect the legal use the embracing of those techs will likely backfire.

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