Re: Makign money as a creative (was) Napster: thoughts and

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 20:01:05 MDT

> If I get a good idea an express it in some kind of medium, and I am really
> good at it. In fact the best. Like I make the best computers, the best car,
> the best song etc. I kan sell this expression of my idea. Then I have an
> incentive to spend my time to get better ideas. Just like the carrot in the
> stick and carrot.
> But if it was legal for everyboy to use my idea like they would see fit,
> then some other guy would just copy the expression of my idea and make
> identical copies. Cars like mine, songs like mine. Then I would only make
> half as much money from my idea. Even at the same price.

Maybe so. What's your point? Seriously, "Creators make more money
with copyrights" is not an excuse. I've never disputed that, just as
farmers with subsidies make more than farmers without. The question
is whether it is better /as a policy/ to have these laws or not. You
contend that there will be "insufficient" incentive to create without
copyright. Despite that being vague and unmeasurable, it is clearly
contradicted by the plain evidence of marvellous amounts of creative
work that happened before the recent adoption of copyright. As I've
also pointed out, creators themselves benefit from absence of copyright
because they too have a richer public domain from which to draw. All
creative work is derivative, after all.B

> The other guy who has made copies has had no R&D costs so he can sell it at
> any price he wants, and still make a profit. If there is ten other guys
> copying it there will shurely be a price that is so low that I would never
> make my R&D costs back.

Yes, without copyright long-term speculative R&D becomes a bad investment,
and most creative work will change from big-leap innovation to small,
incremental improvement. Evolution rather than revolution. Craftsmanship
rather than novelty for its own sake. Copyrights and patents increase the
value of novelty for its own sake. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
Progress is good, but wouldn't all progress be better if more of it were
incremental rather than revolutionary? It certainly would be less likely
to have unexpected side effects, and be easier to integrate into society.

> Then why on earth should I try to get new ideas, and express them in any
> kind of medium?? The smart thing would be to wait until somebody else has
> developed it and then leech off of them.

Without numbers and examples, this is nothing more than the constant cry
of the Luddite: "people will lost jobs".

> Well we have a system right now that works. Not perfect but it works.

That's a matter of opinion. I think it's fundamentally broken. I can't
get the information I want, and people are being sued for trying to
provide access to information. Education is outrageously expensive, and
craftsmanship and service are disappearing. The system is broken.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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