Re: Obsolesence of Intellectual Property

From: Micah Redding (
Date: Sat Aug 05 2000 - 08:55:10 MDT

Zero wrote:

> Therefore I would never argue (and have never argued) that
> Napstering copyrighted music is a good
> thing for those who own the copyrights. So sure, from the
> point of view of the artist/record company* Napster is a “bad”
> thing. No argument there.
> But I try to look at this question from the broadest possible
> view. Not merely from the standpoint of the copyright holders,
> nor merely from the standpoint of the pirates. But from the
> view of trying to determine the absolute or “greater good.”

 In the past, whole industries have suffered when technology
threatened to destroy their market by altering the way society
worked. Naturally, they opposed this change and attempted to halt
 I think most people on this list, however, would acknowledge
that those changes were good when they happened to the railroad
industry (just the first thing that came to mind), or anything
else that stood in the way of progress. The good of society (our
good) is more important than the good of any particular industry,
and actually, by opposing progress, the people involved in the
industry were hurting themselves.
 However, when it comes to intellectual property, apparently it
strikes a little closer to home, perhaps because more people on
this list make a living off of the products of their mind than in
a more average group. It seems to me, though, that the issue is
the same. It will ultimately come down to a fight between the
(relatively small number of) artists and record companies who
want to protect their creations, and the larger populace who want
to consume them. It seems to me arrogant to assume that our
industry is so much different than all the ones that came before.
Certainly, the general public (or at least, the Napster fans)
don't see any difference.

 As an amature artist (song-writer/guitar player for 3 years) the
idea of IP seems very attractive (people pay me money every time
they listen to my song? wow!) But from the broader view, I have
to say that IP looks like an obstruction to our progress in
general. I think the micropayment plan would have been a good
intermediate step between the "current system" and "information
is free", but since we've already leaped past that option, I
think record companies and artists now have to deal with reality,
and accept the death of IP.

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