Re: patents are not a proper market mechanism (WTF?)
Now hold on a cotton-flippin second there ... Are you saying an inventor's labor has no value in a market place?
How do you put value on the labor of "invention"?
One person may spend years inventing an item, while another trips upon something completely unique by accident. One person may take five years to invent something another person invented in several months (think the race to TV). And yet another person may invent something but be so far ahead of his/her time that the patent has long slipped away before a useful purpose is applied and marketed.
Why should the person who gets lucky be entitled to more than the person who toiled for years or was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
In your line of thinking the labor of a person who dug a 100 foot long, 4 foot wide and 5 ft deep ditch with a shovel is worth more than another person who used a backhoe. Why? Because he worked harder? We know this to not be true because the value of the resulting ditches are identical.
And since ultimately invention is a process of discovery and application of discovery, applied trial and error, why should the labor of making that discovery be more valuable than the implementation and production? In short why should the person who put a year into discovery (invention) be awarded more than a year's pay?
Did not Microsoft use the whole "get sued as a customer" against Linux users? Their claim was than Linux companies would not and could not afford to indemnify their customers. So where is Microsoft? Should they not be bearing the weight of these lawsuits against their customers as part of their indemnity clause?
There already is a 'legitimate' market for betting on a company's health
There already is a 'legitimate' market for betting on a company's health. It is call the credit default swap market. And it basically allows anyone with the cash to take out an 'insurance' on someone else's specific debt.
If Flyglobespan has a line of credit or a loan from anyone (bank, finance company, company commercial paper), not only can the holder of that debt take out insurance, so can anyone else. So long as some finance/insurance company is willing to take the bet, err, I mean insure the loan. In the US the CDS market is, by law, not regulated so it need not follow the normal insurance rules (minimum liquidity, capital reserve, etc...).
If Flyglobespan pays back the debt on time, you are out your 'premium' (aka: wager). However, should they default, you get the value of the insurance policy (likely the value of the original debt).
On a tangent, the CDS market along with sub primes (less of a real factor), have a lot to do with why the market is in the condition it is now. A wonderful explanation...
Re: Copyright is valid, distribution system is lam
I do not buy the argument. As a contract software writer, I write code to which the purchaser has agreed to a monetary value. At the end of the day the "real value" of the program can only be determined by it's usage. But that time is long past the contract negotiation. I worked with the purchaser of the code, determined what it is they think they wanted, provided an estimate, agreed to a project price and wrote the software. I even provide some editing post delivery as part of the deal to handle issues not realized during the initial writing. (You may alter the original lyrics in places the band thinks could be improved.)
If the program turns out really well (popular), I get shorted. If at the end of the day it does not really help the purchaser, he gets shorted. If he gets shorted, then my reputation suffers and my ability to get the next contract or negotiate a good price drops. If I write an effective program, my reputation (resume) increases in value and my next job gets better pay and so forth.
Any writing can be done this way. You put a price up front for the time and effort you put into writing the song. If it takes 8 hours to write the song and you charge $200/hr, you get $1600 and the band assumes the risk beyond that. Considering that the scarcity of music is nil and the ability to copy digital content in infinite (effective $0 cost), the band makes their money touring (that is real work). They quit touring they quit making money.
Like the rest of the world, you work you get paid, you sit and you do not get paid. Fairly simple equation.
An alternative analogy is that your song is an investment (a stock maybe). You set a price, they pay it, you write the song and depending on how well the wrting is and how well they perform it, the audience my like it and show up to concerts (ticket sales, return on investment) or not like it and stay home. It's no different than a stock. Once a company sells stock, they no longer (directly) benefit from the rise in price, only the investor does. But if the stock rises in value the company gets a good reputation and the price of their next stock offering increases. Eg, they get more money for the next set of shares released.
Now granted with so many people clinging on to the old model, it will be hard to get the paradigm shifted. But as someone who has had to spedn a time hustling contracts and working out deals all in order to buy groceries, I do not buy your argument, nor do I feel any sympathy.
Actually they use the original master recording (one instrument or voice per track/tape) (in Guitar Hero anyway) so that when you make a mistake they can cancel the guitar sound with out affecting the vocal or other instrument tracks.