Lucinda Foster on 26 Jul 2000 15:37:35 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] <nettime> Terror on Tune Town

somebody asked abouts economists viewpoints: Perhaps 
relevant in this context,  is Rishab Ayer Ghosh on 
'Cooking pot Markets'.
His model is actually designed to 'explain' free software,
thus his metaphorical cooking pot is a combination of
various peoples' efforts not the work of a single artist.
what an open source cooking pot and
the napster mp3 worldwide cooking pot have in common though,
is that one can 'feed' a practically limitless number of
people from the same pot at no extra cost.

The cost involved in making music remains the same, the cost
involved in distributing it has fallen to zero. What does
this mean economically? 
I think the debate about right or wrong and the
ethics of intellectual property is missing the point. one
has to accept the napster community as given, no amount of
legal persecution is going to make it go away. musicians
have to focus on new means of raising income, for example,
'we'll release the next song, when all of you out there
pledge $200,000' as a sort of backward auction, or 'please
send me a $ if you like this song' or seeing songs as
publicity for concerts*, or or or . Many of these things are
hindered by the difficulty in making micropayments.

(* Michael Goldhaber posits an 'attention economy'
where attention itself is worth something, so having a
bestselling record must somehow make you rich even if the
record is being distributed for nothing, check out

at the end of the day any digital 'creation' is in effect a
very large number. and copyrighting numbers seems absurd
from a common sense point of view yet this is precisely what
software and music copyright holders wish to do. it's
technically so easy to reproduce long strings of bits and
bytes that I really can't see them having any success at it.
Another text about free software which trumpets the death of
copyright and which i recommend is

this ends with the wonderful quote:

So Moglen's Metaphorical Corollary to Faraday's Law says
    if you wrap the Internet around every person on the
planet and spin the planet, software flows
    in the network.

when I think of all the bedroom music-makers I know whose
sampling and compiling activities are deemed illegal by the
music industry then I'm well tempted to say that this is just as true for


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