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4.  Read "Why Napster is Right" by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine at <>.

a.  According to the authors, why is downloading copyrighted music not "theft?"    The authors point out that theft in the ordinary sense of the word means depriving the owner of the use of the object of his property or, at least, greatly reducing his access to it.  Contesting that If someone steals your MP3 player, you can no longer use it. Whether you use it, resell it, or just throw it away, it is theft. In this sense "intellectual property" is quite different than property of material objects.

b.  How do the authors argue that allowing music to be resold does not eliminate the incentive to produce further good music?   The authors do this by pointing out historical examples of literature and art, and arguing that the thought of them not recieving future royalties would not have stopped them from making the art work.

c.  What is one reason that the United States has pulled ahead of Europe and Japan in recent years?  One of the reasons that the United States has pulled ahead of Europe and Japan in recent years is that their monopolists have been far more successful in enlisting the government to suppress new technologies.

d.  Very briefly explain whether you agree or disagree with this article.   This article is very good.  I enjoyed reading the various arguments put forth by the author.  However, I disagree with them on several fronts.  However, I also agree with them on many arguments as well.  For starters, this article seems to very anti-RIAA, which I am not, as I have realized what these authors seem to fail to realize.  And that is the fact that Record Companies are an integral part of the music chain, one of which most musicians praise for doing the tasks!  The RIAA is an important part of the final musical product that we have in our homes.  Many people, such as these authors seem to take this for granted.  The record companies have always existed because history has proven that artists are generally too busy being rock stars, or too lazy to handle all of the technical aspects of the music business(marketing, finance, promotion, packaging and distribution,etc)  All of these things are absolutely crucial facets to the final music product that you and I enjoy.  Contrary to the popular and trendy beleif that artists never see any of the money the RIAA collects, The RIAA does in fact distribute the royalties to the artists, there are hundreds of laws, regulations and musicians overseeing this process. 

The authors state “…Strangely enough I can make copies of my Armani's suit, as long as I do not put an Armani label on it, but I cannot do the same with my CDs. Why?”  This is a common misconception, these authors are not taking into the account the enormous amounts of rare/fragile intellectual time and labor, and hence value, put into these different products.

They also say  Why indeed should I not sell on the Internet the music I have purchased, in direct competition with the "producer" (if you can call the RIAA a producer of anything except misleading hot air)? This is where the second part of the RIAA argument comes in: you should not have the right to resell the music because, by breaking the monopoly, you eliminate the incentive to produce further good music. What is at issue, then, is not "theft", but rather the legal protection of a monopoly.  This is totally untrue.  See above critical roles of the record companies and RIAA which is now run entirely by musicians!  Also a new organization has recently been developed called Sound Exchange which further levels the playing field of royalties…Most musicians commend the RIAA for helping them do a tasks otherwise unattainable by them(collecting royalties, marketing, mgnt, promotion)  Musicians see the cut that the RIAA gets and are perfectly OKAY with that…after all they are a service that needs to get paid right?

Now to the krux of this article which is that That is copyright law should explicitly allow consumers who have legally obtained music to copy and resell it.  This is totally ridiculous.  These authors are seriously confused if they think this will help musicians and good music prosper.  It doesn’t take a Phd in Economics to understand that if everyone had the rights to sell anybody’s intellectual property, then rewards and stimulus would fall.  I suggest that the authors try to understand the concepts of setup costs, scale of manufacturing, time and inspiration needs of intellectual property.  The music business is very different than the automobile business, as far as levels of inspiration and artistry are concerned.  In the automobile industry you don’t have as many people relying directly on inspiration stimulous as in the music industry.  Intellectual property business is a radically different business than most, I myself would gladly pay any amount of money to keep the inspiration for the artists growing.  I would never even think to resell for a profit something that someone has spent vast amounts of unique and inspirational time and effort into as in the fragile line of work of music…This type of work is very different from others in my opinion. 

Now here is the kicker,  Do I think that napster should be banned?  NO! absolutely not.  I think that Napster is fine, and is actually a very good promotional tool for musicians.  Napster will have good results for the music industry because it will promote upcoming artists, and also increase competition which will yield better music.  Music sales will not suffer, just look at the data from Jupiter from the napster years.  Most people who buy CD’s from the stores do it on a gift basis or out of respect for the artist.  This will remain unchanged, if not better off.  However the whole idea of allowing people to re-sell artists CD’s is not a wise move in the interest of helping the music to flourish.  The artists must be able to have full control over their work if they are to prosper and grow. Questions send to [Manage messages]

08/16/2002 06:56 PM by Chris Kaufman; What if Content was Object Oriented? Decompostion Game Theory
Napster enables duplication, I believe that is illegal, but what if napster V2... could decompose a song track object? Seperate guitar tracks, drum tracks, and etc into smaller useable objects. That would add value to the duplication. [View full text and thread]