Re: When is an MP3 file like a lighthouse?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Mon Oct 29 2001 - 12:57:22 MST

> All I'm saying is that nonrival and nonexcludable goods are something
> society has encountered before-- hence the lighthouse analogy.
> Lighthouses exist, are rarely controversial, and the people who build
> them get compensated for their troubles, though of course it's not by
> charging the end-users a 'photon fee'. Photons emanting from a
> lighthouse and MP3s zipping through the internet both lack physical
> embodiments, are nonrival, and nonexcludable. The difference is that
> lighthouses have started out as nonrival and nonexcludable. Intellectual
> works started out as rival and excludable, publishers got rich off
> this fact and became a powerful entrenched interest. Now intellectual
> works are suddenly nonrival and nonexcludable, and the ground is being
> ripped out from under the feet of this entrenched interest. They
> won't go quietly, because entrenched interests never do.

Um, check your timeline. IP didn't "start out" excludable; quite
opposite. The whole idea is a recent innovation that has only
existed from the 1700s to the present. And that's only if you
count any form of copyright law, not just those that explicity
create "property" (i.e. transferrable rights). Those artists who
will obviously starve and never create anything good without
copyright law include Mozart, Shakespeare, Michaelangelo...

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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