Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rip Me Off (Part 2)

To summarize part 1. Google ContentID flagged me, which I guess I should take as a compliment because Google claims that one of the criteria for getting matched is audio quality so apparently I meet their quality standards. My complaint was that I don't think the claimant actually owns the copyright, as explained in the previous post, because there are two types of copyrights: one for the composition and one for the sound recording.

This post I'd like to review what I've learned about Intellectual Property. IP was created in the 18th century for less than noble reasons:

The first signs of IP appeared after the invention of the printing press. Governments used it to suppress political dissent (I suspect that the religion wars had something to do with this). It was a royal mercantilist privilege confer on printers, same as it was conferred on tea, tin, cotton, banking, or any other good. In the day, it seemed reasonable. The ruler wanted to control goods and producers want guarantees. Everyone wins, right? Except that there is no competition, no market process, and hence there is stasis. Mercantilism was refuted by economists and free market emerged and history was changed.

What happened to IP in the age when mercantilism was being repealed? It was not abolished but transferred from kings to producers: the exclusive right to produce was granted to private owners who became responsible for enforcement under the cover of law. This was a huge mistake in the liberal revolution of the 18th century, an inconsistency that continues to haunt us.
Not only is the history of IP somewhat nefarious, the system actually works against the realities of modernity. Its only purpose is to make non scarce goods scarce. The barriers to entry have been lowered. Recording equipment is cheaper than ever and competition is rising. When producers compete, some producers win and some lose. That's just the way it works, but the consumer always wins in this situation. Those that provide better products and services, or in other words those that consumers prefer, survive. Amazon won. Tower Records lost. TVT lost, but Dischord is still making it.

So again I'm saying: "Rip me off." Anything I post, copy it, remix it, parody it... this blog, my music, my book when it's finished. Use it any way you see fit. I would only ask two things if you use it, let people know where you got it, and two if you make money off of it, share a little. Please? You'll be doing me a favor because content is advertising so I'm releasing any of my content on a non commercial creative commons license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
New business models are not about selling the content. Techdirt has a formula for new business models: CwF + RtB = $$$$ or in other words, Connect with Fans and Give them a Reason to Buy is the new business model. Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are two good examples, and there are many more at Techdirt.

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