martes, marzo 30, 2004

The intellectual property cartel flexes its muscle against so-called "pirates".

"Congress appears to be preparing assaults against peer-to-peer technology on multiple fronts. A draft bill recently circulated among members of the House Judiciary Committee would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof. The bill, obtained Thursday by Wired News, also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to 10 years for file sharing."

However, illegal downloads don't really seem to be hurting the music-biz. "Piracy" seems more like a whining excuse, a cop-out, to justify corporate greed.

"Some independent music stores are thriving despite the competition from illegal downloads on the Internet. The stores are finding that file sharing can help create a buzz online that can lead to more sales, according to a panel of independent music store owners who spoke at the South by Southwest Music Conference & Festival here Friday."

Today, two prestigious institutions, the Harvard Business School and the Koleman Strumpf of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, have strengthened my point:

'Researchers at two leading universities have issued a study countering the music industry's central theme in its war on digital piracy, saying file sharing has little impact on CD sales. "We find that file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales," Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill said in their report. "The economic effect is also small. Even in the most pessimistic specification, five thousand downloads are needed to displace a single album sale."'

The Recording Industry Association of America, of course, was quick to scream in disagreement and disapproval.

Now, if you want to know the real deal on intellectual property rights and corporate monopolies on information, you must read "Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?"

"New intellectual property regimes are entrenching new inequalities. Access to information is fundamental to so much of modern life – from the exercise of human rights to marketplace competition – but patents are being used to lock up vital educational, software, genetic and other information. The result will be a global property order dominated by a multinational elite – an elite that expropriates anything from AIDS drugs for Africa, seeds for developing-world farmers, to information on the human genome."

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