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.

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Comments on “P2P: Live Or Let Die”

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1 Comment
MadDog says:

P2P " live or let die"

This is an old argument and frankly one that barely deserves any real ink at this point.
Berman is deep in the pockets of the entertainment contingency in L.A. , they are his largest contributors….take a look:


Top Contributors
1 Walt Disney Co $31,000
2 AOL Time Warner $28,050
3 Vivendi Universal $27,591
4 Viacom Inc $13,000
5 News Corp $11,750
6 American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees$10,000
6 DreamWorks SKG $10,000
6 William Morris Agency $10,000
9 Gang, Tyre et al $7,000
9 Sony Corp of America $7,000
11 Ziffren, Brittenham et al $6,500
12 Phillips & Cohen $6,100
13 American Federation of Teachers $5,000
13 Americans for Free International Trade $5,000
13 Assn of Trial Lawyers of America $5,000
13 Carpenters & Joiners Union $5,000
13 Directors Guild of America $5,000
13 Irell & Manella $5,000
13 National Assn of Realtors $5,000
13 National Cable Television Assn $5,000
13 Service Employees International Union $5,000

There is only one reason why people are getting free music through P2P networks….because the music industry has refused to license any of these models to offer music for a fee. If they present a fee on their own, they are much more exposed to lawsuits.

Every other industry in the US knows by now that when faced with unstaoppable technological innovation and change the only winning strategy is “Embrace & Expand”

This is the VCR…CD…DAT drive battle all over again.


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