Re: When is an MP3 file like a lighthouse.

From: Alex F. Bokov (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 15:42:50 MDT


On Wed, 24 Oct 2001, Brian D Williams wrote:

> You left out another option, the affected artists can bring legal
> action against those responsible for theft. Difficult or not.

Difficult doesn't begin to describe it. It will take cops to enforce
this legal action. Who will get their doors kicked down? Those with
pirated files on their computers? Those who have a copy of BearShare
or LimeWire on their computers? Those who help develop BearShare and
LimeWire? Those who develop the theoretical framework underlying p2p
technology? According to the DMCA, it's all of the above. Who is
going to go and track down these transgressors? Carnivore? ISPs,
schools, and employers forced to be de-facto deputies? Sounds like a
lot of cops and deputies to me. How are our first and fourth
ammendment rights going to be safeguarded in the process? Who is
going to pay for these cops and deputies? Will they be funded by a
special, RIAA-members-only tax or will the cost of protecting
recording industry business models be distributed to all taxpayers?
How will we taxpayers be compensated for their money and their
curtailed civil liberties?

Even if these extreme measures were taken, those whose income depends
on information being an excludable good would still go out of
business. As Mr. Bradbury (I think it was) pointed out, consumers
will just opt for free alternatives. Not only because they are
free-as-in-beer, but also because their use presents the fewest legal
complications and the least CPU/disk-space/code wasted (from the
consumer's point of view) on copy protection and digital rights

The software industry already knows this, and are busily trying to
create technical (.NET) and legal barriers to entry. Book and music
publishers will follow suit.

> >But the age of downloading is here, regardless.
> So apparently is the age of theft.

Call it downloading, call it theft, call it etaoin shrdlu. The age of
whatever you choose to call it is upon us. Perhaps I misnamed this
thread. I should have posed it as a question:

"In what way is an MP3 file NOT like a lighthouse?"

I await your answer.

- --
* I believe that the majority of the world's Muslims are good, *
* honorable people. If you are a Muslim and want to reassure me and *
* others that you are part of this good, honorable majority, all *
* you need to say are nine simple words: "I OPPOSE the Wahhabi cult *
* and its Jihad." *

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