Another Example Of Less Intellectual Property Protection Leading To More Innovation
from the innovation-without-IP dept
Amusingly, it seems that the "protectionist" China is leading the way with much more free market policies on these issues. Two and a half years ago, we pointed out that, despite all the problems with rampant "piracy," the Chinese music industry was doing extremely well -- because those musicians had learned to adapt and embrace new business models that didn't require directly selling the music. It's only two years later that musicians outside of China seem to be catching up.
However, the more important lesson here is in understanding the unintended consequences at play. The RIAA and the MPAA (and Congress, through the generous donations of those two organizations) have talked about how important it is to "protect" content -- but in doing so, they crippled the industry for developing P2P tools, which have the potential to be a much more important part of economic activity in the future. Better tools for the distribution and promotion of content are quite important, and by cracking down on that in the name of "piracy" we've now hurt the US's ability to lead in that field -- and without any real benefit to the content creators the industry was so anxious to protect. It's really the same as any other protectionist policy. If you protect an industry, it just allows others elsewhere to be more innovative and more nimble and to take control over that industry. It simply destroys the industry at home where it's supposedly "protected" and hurts consumers by offering them less innovation for more money.