[linux-elitists] Re: pho: Tonight on Disney

Aaron Sherman ajs@ajs.com
Tue Oct 23 04:43:12 PDT 2001

On Mon, Oct 22, 2001 at 05:18:44PM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> The broader point (brushing hay out of hair) is that your strawman
> misses the point:  the case is not as clear as either the media
> companies or the h4x0r5 would like it.  There is noninfringing copying
> of copyrighted media.  There is a limit to amount and extent of same.
> Napster itself didn't hold, host, or transfer content, but indexed it.
> Is Tripod in the same class as Napster?  Google?

Carriers are sticky problems, yes. I have not the legal depth, but 
on the core issue of file-sharing, I guess the question is this: what
are we protecting?

The constitution attempts to protect (promote even!) the sciences and
the useful arts via copyright.

I've yet to meet anyone who feels that copyright as laid out by that
document, and modified by the doctrin of fair use was a problem.

The music industry is on a different angle, though. They're interested
in protecting a business model. I'm not a h4x0r, nor do I know any
hax0r5, but I know a whole lot of folk that engage in file sharing.

We've all done the "here's a username/password for my private
FTP area" thing. We've all traded our own collections among friends.
This is exactly the same as trading tapes, IMHO. When you do it
in the public on Napster or Gnutella, you cross a line, and I
think anyone who does share their music publicly should be made
to pay the artists royalties. There's the catch, though! The artists
don't see squat. They get their money from concerts.

The huge sucking sound you hear is a business model vacuum! Someone
needs to firgure out how to:

	a. Get good artists paid for their work
	b. Do it without a 99% cut for a middle-man
	c. Let me choose what I want to listen to.

When I share a file on Gnutella, Napster, Freenet, FTP or the Web,
whether privately or publicly, I'm throwing water on a business
model that big media wants to see happen. I say too bad. We're not
in the business of defending bad business models. My money is
on the guy who figures out how to build what MP3.com should have

I'm not saying we should trade Brittany Spears singles. I'm saying
we should have a segment of the music industry that takes
advantage of file sharing and promotes it! I'm saying that
there is a fortune to be made in moderating the interaction
between the artist and the file-sharee. Create a Web site that
moderates and reviews files that are then shared via Gnutella
or Freenet (and where those files are contributed by the
artists) and I will bet that the RIAA will be a thing of the
past in 20 years.

"Information wants to be free" is a statement of the first
law of information thermodynamics. Like all natural laws,
there's money to be made in harnessing it for the public good....

Aaron Sherman
ajs@ajs.com		finger ajskey@b5.ajs.com for GPG info. Fingerprint:
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  "Write your letters in the sand for the day I'll take your hand
   In the land that our grandchildren knew." -Queen/_'39_

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