Of Free Markets And Competition In The Recording Industry

from the does-it-exist dept

The folks at Cato have put out a new report on copy protection and file sharing, suggesting that competition will take care of all of the problems. Ed Felten quickly responds by pointing out this only makes sense if the industry is really competitive and suggesting that the launch of MP3Tunes might be a good test case. If the market is truly competitive, Felten argues, then the labels will license content to MP3Tunes in an un-copy protected format. After all, all of their tracks are already available as MP3s on file sharing systems, so there’s no reasonable argument that they lose anything by doing so. All they really do is offer customers more choice. However, since the industry appears to act more like an oligopoly, then it’s less likely they’ll agree to do this. Felten follows this up with another post, noting that competition doesn’t seem to be driving interoperability in copy protection, and wonders why the Cato report doesn’t seem to actually delve into the questions that are the logical next step of the points they make.

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Comments on “Of Free Markets And Competition In The Recording Industry”

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Beck says:

No Subject Given

Given a choice between buying a DRM’d file and an MP3, is there one person who would not choose the MP3? Do we really need market studies to tell us this? I think it is an excellent argument that says that mp3 files are already universally available, so why not sell them?

The option is already out there. It’s called allofmp3.com, where you can purchase MP3 files at a reasonable price. They have the same songs you can get from iTunes. I wonder how much music that site is selling? The only thing that holds them back is that 1)people don’t trust a Russian Web site and 2)people are not sure if it’s legal.

I know I’m not going to buy another 99 cent DRM’d song from iTunes as long as the miracle of foreign exchange rates allows that same 99 cents to purchase eight MP3s from allofmp3.

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