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

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 22:21:42 MDT

On Thu, 13 Jul 2000, Max Moller Rasmussen wrote:

> >My only issue is with copyright: the idea
> >that ideas are "ownable". I oppose that for ethical reasons,
> >and I think humanity as a whole suffers from the shackles
> >put on our collective minds by this restriction on the free
> >flow of information of all kinds.
> A piece of music is not an Idea any more than car! It is a result of the
> execution af an idea.
> If you make a piece of music and say that it is illegal to copy it, it will
> not stop other people from making music and it will not keep them from being
> inspired by it.
> It is not like some stupid and obvious software patent.
> Somebody makes popular music. Other people sell it. Those selling it makes
> the money. So there is no incentive to make more good music.
> In a market where there is no copyright there will be no survival of the
> fittest. I don't understand that you (totally)free market guys cannot see
> that.

This is so fragemented and confused it hardly deserves reply, but I'll
try anyway:

The music itself is a /pattern/, expressed in some medium, like
a disk. It is the /design/ of the car, not the car. The disk is the
car. I'm all for selling disks and cars. What copyright does is
prevent me from selling a different disk or different car embodying
the same patterns. I can't sell an identical replica of my Subaru
or a re-recording of an album, even if I use my own materials and
labor to build them.

The naked, unsupported assertion that music sales will not support
artists absent copyright won't become true no matter how many times
you repeat it. If this were true, broadcast television and radio
would not exist at all, and yet they are billion dollar industries.
I'm not surprized that I seem to be the only one in this debate
who is using actual examples and actual numbers. Continually
repeating unbacked opinions is a poor substitute for real philosophy.

I am a 100% free-market capitalist. I hold no higher moral value
than earning profit in the free market. But "free market" is open
to varying definitions. Yours (and that of the existing system)
includes the idea of government-backed protection of the market
in information-based goods and services. Mine does not. To me,
a free market is one where every player is able to make use of eir
own knowledge and talents however ey sees fit, short of force or
fraud. Re-selling information works is neither force nor fraud;
it is only "theft" because the law defines it as such, and it is
that definition we are debating, so you can't make it a premise.

Freedom should be the default premise. It is those who want to
use government guns to protect the markets of publishers who must
come up with /compelling/ reasons to justify it. "We make more
money that way" is not a compelling reason.

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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