Lucinda Foster on 26 Jul 2000 20:37:44 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Terror on Tune Town

somebody asked abouts economists viewpoints: Perhaps relevant in this
context, is Rishab Ayer Ghosh on 'Cooking pot Markets'.  His model is
actually designed to 'explain' free software, thus his metaphorical
cooking pot is a combination of various peoples' efforts not the work of a
single artist.  what an open source cooking pot and the napster mp3
worldwide cooking pot have in common though, is that one can 'feed' a
practically limitless number of people from the same pot at no extra cost.

The cost involved in making music remains the same, the cost involved in
distributing it has fallen to zero. What does this mean economically?  I
think the debate about right or wrong and the ethics of intellectual
property is missing the point. one has to accept the napster community as
given, no amount of legal persecution is going to make it go away.
musicians have to focus on new means of raising income, for example,
'we'll release the next song, when all of you out there pledge $200,000'
as a sort of backward auction, or 'please send me a $ if you like this
song' or seeing songs as publicity for concerts*, or or or . Many of these
things are hindered by the difficulty in making micropayments. 

(* Michael Goldhaber posits an 'attention economy' where attention itself
is worth something, so having a bestselling record must somehow make you
rich even if the record is being distributed for nothing, check out 

at the end of the day any digital 'creation' is in effect a very large
number. and copyrighting numbers seems absurd from a common sense point of
view yet this is precisely what software and music copyright holders wish
to do. it's technically so easy to reproduce long strings of bits and
bytes that I really can't see them having any success at it.  Another text
about free software which trumpets the death of copyright and which i
recommend is

this ends with the wonderful quote: 

So Moglen's Metaphorical Corollary to Faraday's Law says that if you wrap
the Internet around every person on the planet and spin the planet,
software flows in the network. 

when I think of all the bedroom music-makers I know whose sampling and
compiling activities are deemed illegal by the music industry then I'm
well tempted to say that this is just as true for music. 


Sent through GMX FreeMail -

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: