[LINK] FC: Recording industry wants to scan .au university computers (fwd)

Chris Maltby chris@sw.oz.au
Thu, 20 Feb 2003 15:49:22 +1100


On Thu, Feb 20, 2003 at 01:00:14PM +1100, Rachel Polanskis wrote:
<snip>
> I am quite sick of these Recording Industry tyrants screaming and
> ranting about their loss of intellectual property which is just weasel
> words for them wanting to boost their profits in a market that is
> depressed for other reasons.

Some of what Richard Stallman has to say about the copyright
"bargain" is particularly relevant here. The details are widely
available if anyone needs them, but in essence, his argument is
that copyright is a form of monopoly which has been historically
tolerated in otherwise "free" markets because without it things
would not get published at all due to the significant costs
associated with traditional methods of physical duplication and
delivery.

Now that the cost side of the bargain has been (or can be)
eliminated (or replaced, if you like, with marketing expenses),
it's time to re-evaluate the tolerance of the monopoly aspect.
The true value in most copyrighted works resides with the creators,
not with the people who manufacture, promote and deliver the copies,
but yet those people take the lion's share of the revenue and
profits. The cost structures of record companies are not evidence
that these costs actually benefit the authors or the consumers of
the copyright material.

The vested interests in the "Intellectual Property" industries
will presumably ensure that this re-negotiation never occurs, but
the explanation certainly explains the strength of their fight in
defence of their monopolies.

Chris

PS Without trying to start a debate, I'm not sure that Stallman's
   conclusions are as useful as this part of his analysis...