Re: Obsolesence of Intellectual Property

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 06:53:14 MDT

Max Moller Rasmussen wrote:

> From: Ross A. Finlayson
> >After the fixed costs, reproducing software is basically a costless
> operation.
> >I see those as obvious statements.
> Yes but the fixed price in music is very high for an individual without hope
> of making money back.

There has been and always will be garage bands, as long as there are garages.
There is an untold number of semi-professional musicians scattered throughout
the world.

The industry itself produces in a very blatant manner those acts which it
promotes the most, and which provide it the most money. I'm not saying that
there are contrived bands, but there are contrived bands.

In different people's opinions, there are better and worse bands and musicians.

The fixed price of distributing records in music stores is very high, perhaps
uncompetitively so.

By the same token, there are thousands and thousands of labels.

> >Linux or the other free UNIXs were not free, they are made from thousands
> upon
> >thousands of programmer hours and precursor code, they were just freely
> given.
> They were freely shared. That is different. You share and you get something
> back because of the GNU license. Thus everybody gets a better tool to work
> with.
> Music is (usually) neither freely given nor shared. A musician who's music
> is copied does not get anything back from the comunity. He might himself get
> free music, but that doesn't buy him bread. It's sort of a reverse "Tragedy
> of the commons". He looses and socity wins. In the short term at least, as
> he would quickly stop producing music.

Some actually do share their music freely.

For some, if their music is copied, or in others words it influences others,
then that is sometimes a benefit to the originator, in some cases.

> Linux has been paid for one way or another. The price might be hidden but it
> has been paid and it has been thriving on the swing/carrousel principle.
> >There is a concept of sum societal utility. Linux, free, has contributed
> to the
> >sum societal utility many times over its investment given by volunteer
> >programmers and supporters, some might say. Some statistics have it
> running
> >half the Internet.
> It has made it cheaper to run an IT business yes. But not more than that.

It has contributed to the sum societal utility moreso than it has cost it.

> >Copyright laws are in place for a reason, and most of them are good laws.
> Some
> >patent laws, in my opinion, are cumbersome and infringe upon the growth of
> sum
> >societal utility, and any patent should expire in twelve years.
> Ahh... we probably agree here.
> Max M Rasmussen (Denmark)

Yes we do.

In regards to sum societal utility, I suggest the Samuelson Utility Function, my
favorite economic function. Thusly, almost everything may be subjected to
cost-benefit analysis, which includes the air that we breathe.

Have a nice day,


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:

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