[LINK] Tim O'Reilly on SOPA/PIPA: Solving The Wrong Problem
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Jan 18 10:02:24 EST 2012
At 8:58 +1100 18/1/12, Kim Holburn wrote:
>> In the entire discussion, I've seen no discussion of credible
>>evidence of this economic harm. There's no question in my mind that
>>piracy exists, that people around the world are enjoying creative
>>content without paying for it, and even that some criminals are
>>profiting by redistributing it. But is there actual economic harm?
As always with such analyses, it depends on the point of view you
adopt, or in academic research terms, the 'unit of study'.
At an aggregate level, the economy buzzes on, thank you very much.
There may well be *more* economic activity and value generated as a
result of unauthorised use of copyrighted material. [The word
'piracy' should never be used in such conversations. It means
something different entirely, and has been infiltrated into the
discussion to benefit one side by defaming the other].
At specific sectoral levels, there will be redistributive effects,
i.e. some sectors will do better and some less well. If a society
criminalises unauthorised use of copyrighted material (which has been
achieved in many countries through exercise of the power firstly of
copyright-dependent corporations over the US Congress and secondly of
the power of the US machine over vassal states like Australia), then
the redistribution is in favour of criminalised sectors over what the
corporations depict as 'the good guys'.
At the level of individual employees, there may be displacement
effects, and the new or alternative jobs may be in different places
and hence not readily accessible to the people who are displaced.
(I'm not trivialising this aspect, because real people are involved.
A mate of my son had a good job in animation which went elsewhere,
due to competition of various kinds).
Oh yes, and the artists? They're employees these days, and the
origination is a joint effort among many people rather than a solo
effort. The notion of the artist starving in a garret is irrelevant
to the discussion - it's a question of whether the
originating-corporation can achieve sufficient revenue to earn enough
money on its investment to remain profitable, and even solvent.
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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