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File Sharing

2002-06-13 16:48:39+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

In Policing Pirates in the Networked Age, Stan Leibowitz seems to have a bit of a change of heart:

Technologies that make it easier to pirate copyrighted materials have undergone economic examination for over two decades. Prior analysis, and prior experience, has indicated that the previous generations of copying technologies have not had dire consequences for copyright owners.

There's a Salon interview with him in which he talks a bit about DRM and such. It's very clear to me that if the music industry were serious about stopping piracy, they could just make high profile busts against a couple of big pirates and the P2P networks would dry up fairly quickly.

[ related topics: Intellectual Property Music ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-06-13 17:25:30+00 by: Mars Saxman

The evolutionary lifecycle of a peer-to-peer file sharing system is quite fast. It's not hard to write such a program and it's not much harder to learn from whatever it was that brought down the previous network. If the RIAA starts going after individuals, individuals will indeed abandon the networks that fail to protect them - but the barrier to entry is so low that it's effectively guaranteed a new, more anonymous service will arrive within a couple of months.


#Comment made: 2002-06-13 17:40:24+00 by: Dan Lyke

My experience from piracy in the early '80s is that if a few individuals get busted, much of the appeal of playing the game will disappear. In my BBS circle it took one time of the guys in the dark suits and sunglasses knocking on a few doors, and one or two of that circle having their computers snarfed by said folks, and yes, we may have just gone more underground, but it also wiped out a whole level of casual use. Suddenly it became understood that you were either playing, or you weren't, there wasn't a gray area, and playing got a whole lot more expensive because one had to be careful all the time.

I think the music and film industries could do the same thing, but I think they don't really want to because it would mean alienating some of their biggest promoters. So rather than approaching the problem head-on, they have to side-step the real issue and try to take passive-aggressive steps.