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Librenix: Why the Napster decision doesn't matter

Aug 02, 2000, 16:58 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ray Yeargin)

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"Napster has blazed the trail and built huge momentum; Freenet, or something similar, will simply pick up this momentum if Napster is shut down. The trend is inevitable. In the United States, our laws and traditions will conflict with any attempt to prevent people from sharing files that they own. Therefore, any attempt to eliminate the basic practice of file sharing is doomed to failure. That leaves only the rather impractical task of policing each and every file transfer -- or trusting people with their decentralized file-sharing technologies."

"Unauthorized software copying has become common now, and the laws that apply to it are, for the most part, only enforced against corporations. It is economically infeasible to address the decentralized portion of the problem that personal computers make possible. This situation foreshadows the future of the music industry."

"Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, personal computers, decentralized communications, human nature, the love of music, high prices, and inconvenient packaging cannot coexist without significant music copying. In order to control the copying problem, at least one of the above constraints must be changed. People aren't going to give up any of the first six; I suggest a new strategy based on changing the current packaging and pricing model to include convenient electronic distribution, sample-based marketing, individual track selection, and new prices to reflect the vastly reduced costs of running such a business."

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