1997-11-03 - Re: Copyright commerce and the street musician protocol

Header Data

From: Marc Horowitz <marc@cygnus.com>
To: “John Kelsey” <kelsey@plnet.net>
Message Hash: 301560cc45a9f94b4ce6a245c364dd3f293982ad51b0e3c18e5b2081fb6bfc4a
Message ID: <t53yb35r8pl.fsf@rover.cygnus.com>
Reply To: <199711021807.MAA30019@email.plnet.net>
UTC Datetime: 1997-11-03 21:17:51 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 05:17:51 +0800

Raw message

From: Marc Horowitz <marc@cygnus.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 05:17:51 +0800
To: "John Kelsey" <kelsey@plnet.net>
Subject: Re: Copyright commerce and the street musician protocol
In-Reply-To: <199711021807.MAA30019@email.plnet.net>
Message-ID: <t53yb35r8pl.fsf@rover.cygnus.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Someone recently told me that game manufacturers have stopped worrying
about piracy.  Why?  Because most new games come on CD-ROM, and
copying a CD-ROM is an expensive, time-consuming operation.  Bulk
duplication of CD's is substantially cheaper than one-off duplication,
and since games are cheap, people will usually buy them rather than
copy them.

While the cost of one-off CD duplication will certainly drop, I see no
reason that media will not change form in the future.  As long as it's
cheaper or more convenient to buy digital media from the publisher
than to copy it yourself, the piracy problem basically doesn't exist.
This is exactly what makes copyright work for books: I can duplicate a
book, but it will cost more than buying it legitimately.  (There is
still the problem of systematic large-scale piracy, but this is
relatively easy to notice and prosecute under existing law.)

Short works (newspapers, magazines, journals, etc.) will need a
different mechanism, such as advertising, but that infrastructure is
creating itself today.

I'm unconvinced that there really is an Internet copyright problem,
outside of traditional media publishers inventing it.