The Economics Of File Sharing Confusing The Experts

from the not-doing-what-it's-supposed-to-do dept

Salon is running a great interview with economist Stan Liebowitz. He’s fairly well known for arguing against the breakup of Microsoft and suggesting that the concept of “network effects” isn’t nearly as powerful as people make it out to be. However, now he’s focusing on file sharing. He recently wrote a paper suggesting that file sharing would be very dangerous to the music industry – but now he’s changing his mind. He says the evidence simply isn’t there – which confuses him. From all the data he has, if file sharing was really killing the music industry, it should have had a major impact already, which it hasn’t. He has a few theories why that is, and he’s beginning to believe that file sharing isn’t such a bad thing. He also talks about why he likes DRM concepts, but in the end, he repeats my favorite line: “If they get every consumer mad at them, they’ll be in big trouble.”

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