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R.U./ Cory
Alex Steffen, 3 Mar 04

Worldchanging buddy Cory Doctorow gives an interesting interview to R.U. Sirius.

"Computers are really good at making copies of things. And to the extent that the things that we value are things that can be represented digitally, we can assume that we will have as many copies as we want on demand. So it's not hard to think about a kind of nanotech future where virtually all objects are available on demand. In that kind of world, both the traditional Marxist and the traditional Keynesian analyses don't make a lot of sense. These are predicated first and foremost on the regulation of scarce and valuable objects. In a “Napster World” where every time someone expresses a market signal about the value of a song by downloading a copy of it; instead of there being one fewer copies of that song, there's now one more copy of that song; this is a really different economic proposition. And I talk about this as an alternative to the tragedy of the commons. This is a commons where the sheep shit grass. The more you graze the more you get. But some things grow more scarce as a consequence of this and one of them is attention/interaction. And we need some mechanism for allocating interaction and allocating attention. Reputation in some ways seems to be a promising way of doing it."

"We have this history in technology of copyright being created to enshrine ways of rewarding artists that grew up in the last round of technological change. So we had copyright rules for helping people who made sheet music and then someone came up with a piano roll. And they completely screwed the sheet music people because what the piano roll people used to do is buy one copy of the sheet music and then they would rip it to a piano roll ... to a digital format ... and then they would sell it without giving any money back to the music publishers. And there was no copyright law that could make that work. And so we created a new copyright law, a compulsory license or a blanket license where if you gave a penny to the person who published the original sheet music you could make as many copies of the piano roll as you wanted. And then this happened again with radio. The Vaudeville artists sued Marconi for inventing the radio. People talk about how music file sharing is disruptive... oh you can make infinite numbers of perfect digital copies. Well, yeah it's disruptive but think about the change from live performance to radio. You went from where you controlled 100% of who got to listen to your music to where you control 0% of who got to listen to your music. You went from where only people who bought a ticket could listen to you to where anyone who could build or buy a radio could listen to you. It made Napster look like kids' stuff."

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"some things grow more scarce as a consequence of this and one of them is attention/interaction"

"where you control 0% of who got to listen to your music"

Posted by: reflexorset on 3 Mar 04

whoops! there goes my whuffie i guess :D

Posted by: reflexorset on 4 Mar 04



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