Killercool, you have missed a true scarcity because you misunderstand the infinite part of content. Content starts off scarce for everyone but the creator of it which makes access the scarcity. Remember, access is a reason to buy. It is always current even for something created 100 years ago, or, in the case of oxygen, billions of years ago.
This brings us to your oxygen bar example which is a good case of knowing what you are paying for. You are not paying for oxygen but rather the manipulation of air to create the rarified gas as well as containerization and delivery to you. This is no different than what medical supply houses do for hospitals and scuba supply shops do for divers. In other words, you would be paying for a specific type of access.
Mike, I know you are not a lawyer but, in your opinion, couldn't these rulings be used as a defense against SOPA and ProIP and possibly various three strikes laws by removing the intermediaries due to a lack of standing? Seems to me these rulings are saying that a third party cannot act on behalf of a copyright holder to initiate copyright based legal actions. Would this include PayPal attempting to void a contract based on alleged copyright infringement? Would any of the lawyers who frequently post please weigh in on this as well?
I find it hopeful that the courts are enforcing jurisprudence issues and expect there to be a serious backlash against third parties attempting to bypass the court by attempting to be a court themselves.
Good points Ken. I would like to include the corollary terms of own, sell and buy/purchase in this discussion because they are also terms often used in copyright debates as misleading metaphors.
Content is often put forth by Glyn, Mike and others as an infinite resource. I think it is actually a conditionally infinite resource but otherwise agree with the underlying concept. What I find most people doing in this debate though is not applying the concepts that logically follow. Infinite resources cannot be owned; cannot be sold and cannot be purchased. This means, then that musicians do not sell music, authors do not sell stories and you cannot buy a song and so on and so on.
Caveat Emptor! If you cannot steal it then you cannot legally own it, you cannot legally sell it and you cannot legally buy it. To me it is part of the sense that should be more common.