Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Was Napster Right?

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Der Spiegel

You may recall that Eckhard Höffner has been examining the history of copyright in Germany - finding that in its absence there was an explosion of knowledge - that due to the late enforcement of copyright in Germany, Germany emerged from a poor agricultural country in 1800 to the leading science nation in 1900. The German media being more advanced than the U.S. media Der Spiegel,the preeminant German weekly news magazine with a print run of about 1 million, and one of the most widely circulated magazines in Europe has picked up the story.

Explosion of knowledge. Was the industrial rise of Germany caused, because copyright was unknown. If your German is not good you might try Google Translate.

Is this what they mean by analog hole?

Having trouble with DRM on your ebooks? Try this site. The problem with DRM is it encourages piracy. It can always be removed - but it can be a hassle. So: if you are going to distribute it widely it is worth the effort - and if you take the trouble to do it yourself you are so pissed off that you feel a strong temptation to share it. Irritating your customers hasn't proven a winning business model in the past.

Competition creates innovation

Matt Berninger, "The National"'s vocalist, is quoted in today's New York Times Magazine:

People seemed to fall for us after listening to our records many, many times. The corporate model has collapsed, but small-label bands playing to 200 people a night can pay the bills and raise a family on it. That's why we'll have better and more interesting innovations

Better Homes and Copyrights

Dale Sheldon-Hess writes:

I thought the folks at Against Monopoly might get a kick out of this, if you hadn't already seen it: a well-known and respected mainstream publication off-handedly endorsing copyright "abuse".

The January 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens had an article called "25 easy ways to conquer clutter"; number 20 on that list (on page 41) says the following:

"Convert your compact discs into digital music files, either yourself or using a service such as ripdigital.com or riptopia.com. (They give you materials to send in in your CDs, convert them to digital, and burn them on DVDs for you.) Then, donate or* sell the returned CDs.* --Sabrina Soto, host of HGTV's Real Estate Intervention"

(Emphasis added.)

Isn't that technically illegal? Is this an example of a dead-tree publication "getting it", or simply an example of naiveté in the face of the absurdity of copyright?

Music without copyright

Ok,music with copyright. Billboard released its list of top money making acts. It doesn't give a systematic breakdown of earnings by category - but it did for Metallica (you know Lars Ulrich, the gas station attendant turned drummer who says he'd never have made the switch without copyright forever)

Along with touring revenue -- the band pulled in $22.8 million from 55 arena shows reported to Boxscore that drew more than 968,000 fans -- Metallica sold 694,000 albums in 2009. The majority of those sales came from its Rick Rubin-produced 2008 release, "Death Magnetic" (297,000). Album sales revenue totaled $1.6 million. And most of Metallica's track download earnings came from its 1991 hit "Enter Sandman," which sold 450,000.

Hmmm...think it would make a lot of difference to the world if they lost the $1.6 million from the albums? Without copyright they'd only make $22.8 million from touring...You might almost think it would be worth it to them to give the recorded music away for free to promote their concerts...

Welcome Back!

Talk last week by Larry Lessig in Amsterdam. (via Jeff Racine)

We don't need no stinking copyright...really!

Via my WUSTL student Dirk Doebler, news of a video by an unknown Uruguayan producer Fede Alvarez. All $300 worth. Modern technology empowers the creative. If not for the dead-hand of the copyright lobby trying to keep everything ever made in the past under lock and key (think "sound track" or "mashup" or "sampling") this would be the age of golden creativity. With plenty of money for the Fede Alvarez's of the world too.

This is the true cost of copyright law: we have but a pale reflection of the golden age of creativity that we could have.

Filesharing is good for social welfare

Does filesharing reduce profits of the music industry? This paper claims so, and that should not be that much of a surprise. However, it also argues that filesharing is welfare improving because it leads to more competition and thus lower prices. Remember, ultimately it is the consumer that counts when computing a surplus, not just music industry profits.

HT: Economic Logic

Sweet Irony: major music labels sued for C$60 billion for piracy

The estate of jazz legend Chet Baker is suing Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada for piracy. These labels have massively used Chet Baker's works in compilations without any compensation, and they have already admitted doing so. The sought compensation is C$20,000 per infringement, which adds up to about C$60 billion.

HT: Toronto Star via BoingBoing

Or more precisely: does Napster matter?

Here is some pricing information for an ebook that may be of interest

Charles Darwin's A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World may be purchased in mobipocket format on the mobipocket website for $47.99

link here

Or you may "purchase" it in the same format from Gutenberg for $0.00

link here

By the way: the work is not under copyright.

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Some history

Killing people with patents SYSSY

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rerwerwerwer

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Thank you for this great

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime Eu acho que os direitos autorais da invenção ou projeto devem ser

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Your Compulsory Assignment for Tonight rerrerrr

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rwerwewre

An analysis of patent trolls by a trademark lawyer

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good

Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,