Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why strict copyright enforcement is becoming obsolete

TechRepublic reporting:
Takeaway: Strict copyright enforcement is popular in major copyright dependent industries right now. But here’s why advancing technology is rapidly making those industries’ traditional business models obsolete.
The ongoing controversies over matters of copyright enforcement and piracy are infected by virulent strains of propaganda and misunderstanding. The entire issue is commonly framed as a battle between content creators and peer to peer file sharers. Let us take the two most extreme views, and refer to them by names they often choose for themselves. At one extreme, there are the defenders of “content owners” who either believe that copyright is a basic property right imperfectly embodied in law or who just believe that treating copyright that way is an important expedient that they should defend. At the other extreme, there are the “copyfighters” who believe that copyright is an authoritarian imposition, establishing harmful monopolies, either as corrupt and immoral support for capitalist plutocrats, or as unconscionable governmental interference in markets that should be free.
...Regardless of your feelings about the matter of whether copyright enforcement is justified, it makes little sense to cover our ears, close our eyes, and ignore the facts that face us. In the end, if you want to make money by providing content for others’ consumption in years to come, you are going to have to start recognizing the increasing difficulty of maintaining a state of artificial scarcity enforced by copyright law. The most successful media distributors will be those who can employ a business model that does not assume users can be prevented from making copies. Give people positive reinforcement for not making copies as an inherent feature of the model or, better yet, employ a model that relies on the natural tendency people have to share what what they like when it is essentially free to copy.

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