P2P: Live Or Let Die
from the the-debate-rages dept
News.com is running a “pro or con” debate on the issue of file sharing networks. On the “con” side is Representative Howard Berman, who is introducing legislation that will allow music labels exemptions from laws that will let them hack your computer to prevent you from file sharing. He runs through all the usual arguments of someone who doesn’t understand what they’re talking about. The funniest bit is he claims he knows file sharing is stealing because he has a basic grasp of economics. All I could think of as I read his piece is how little economics he obviously understands. He makes the most basic mistakes: he assumes that any “shared” program is obviously lost revenue; he assumes that theft occurs when the original owner hasn’t lost anything; he assumes that some businesses (for no clear reason) have a Congressional-given right to their business model, even when the market says that’s not true. On the “con” side, Steve Griffin, CEO of StreamCast trots out the standard historical arguments about radio and the VCR. He says that these are historical examples of similar innovations that the entertainment industry was scared of – but over time helped enlarge their markets. It’s no surprise, of course, that I agree with his position, but I wish he would have taken on Berman’s specific claims to show that they simply aren’t true.