Re: When is an MP3 file like a lighthouse?

From: Bryan Moss (
Date: Wed Oct 24 2001 - 14:12:31 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> > So it's a little too soon to assume that the music
> > industry as we know it is a corpse.
> While this author's explanations aren't very rigorous (which
> is to be expected for public-consumption prose), the basic
> facts are hard to avoid. Any industry that currently
> _relies_ on the excludability of content is on its deathbed.
> Encryption may provide a few last gasps, but it cannot solve
> the basic problem (for those who see it as a problem :-)

I think obscurity is a better bet than encryption. Music and
other linear media are very easily captured and any attempts
at anti-piracy will inevitably fail. It only takes one kid
working at a music store who has the technical know-how to
redistribute all the newest releases throughout the Internet.
This already happens with software. However, after the
illicit copies are out there, the average music buyer needs to
be aware of them and be able to download them. At the moment
it's easier to get music from a P2P application than a
legitimate source, this needn't be the case. With micro-
payments it should be possible to not only sell legitimate
digital copies but pay commission for referrals, just as
Amazon does with its affiliates program, thus giving an
incentive to websites to refer people to legitimate retailers.
Ultimately, the entire experience - from discovering a new
artist, to finding the particularly song you want, to
purchasing it - will be controlled by a string of cooperating
middlemen. The Internet gives far greater control over the
whole process of promoting and selling an artist; it shouldn't
be too hard to make sure that the majority of consumers are
both unaware of illicit methods of obtaining digital media and
would prefer the "genuine" version anyway.


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