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[Nettime-bold] RE: Creation Myths: Does innovation require intellectual
R. A. Hettinga on Mon, 24 Feb 2003 01:23:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] RE: Creation Myths: Does innovation require intellectual propertyrights?

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At 5:43 PM -0800 on 2/23/03, Somebody wrote:

> but i consider modern-day copyrights to be more about guaranteeing
> a BRAND (read profit) and much less about  guaranteeing
> authenticity (read quality) 


However, what we're talking about is an emerging *economic*
phenomenon. There are three kinds of markets (well, 4, I forgot about
the first... :-)):

1. Monopoly. Markets for force tend to be monopolistic :-).
Electricity and Telephony isn't naturally monopolistic, as we're
finding out. Oil wasn't, neither was tobacco, or steel, or railroads,
and software isn't either, no matter what Uncle Fed says. Marketing
is usually done as a "public service".

2. Oligopoly. Big 3 Auto makers or broadcast networks, Seven Sister
oil companies, Big 8 accounting firms, and so on. Notice the numbers
change, but not by much. 

3. Monopolistic Competition. Big Macs aren't Whoppers, but they close
enough. Local grocery story chains are the same, BTW. Copyrights,
Trademarks, and patents control these markets. Created by
industrialism and long production runs. Inventors of the "Marketing

4. Perfect Competition. A soybean is a killowatt-hour is a barrel of
Brent, and so on. Fungible graded commodities are traded in efficient

What the folks at the MinnFed are saying is something everyone on the
net has known for years: one copy of Madonna's lastest is the same as
any other. That converts markets for "Software", in the Gary Becker
sense, from (2) Oligopoly and (3) Monopolistic Competition to (4)
Perfect Competition.

In a market with perfect competition, the first copy's worth a lot,
and the last copy's not worth much. That means instantly-settled
recursive auctions. Right now, we "price", and "settle" those
auctions with latency. If we can't wait for someone's copy of
Madonna's greatest, we click on someone else's, and so on, until we
get one from somebody.

Someday, we'll price them in a numeraire of some kind, gold, dollars,

We'll "settle" them, I expect, with cash, that is, an instantaneously
settled, and non-repudiable transfer of a zero-coupon perpetuity :-).
That means, I expect, a bearer form of same using a blinded
cryptographic protocol. But I'm supposed to say that.


Version: PGP 8.0 - not licensed for commercial use: www.pgp.com


R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah {AT} ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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