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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Are They Allowed to Talk About Alternatives to Copyright at the NYT?

Are They Allowed to Talk About Alternatives to Copyright at the NYT?

Saturday, 07 August 2010 08:08
Apparently not. A lengthy magazine piece that discussed the music industry's costly efforts to track down restaurants and bars that play copyrighted music without authorization never mentioned the possibility that there could be alternative mechanisms for financing music in the Internet Age. Instead, it held out the hope that new technology may allow the industry to monitor every radio, computer, and cell phone so that Time Warner would know every time one of its copyrighted songs was being played.
Comments (3)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, August 07, 2010 10:23
We're from the Copyright Protectionist Enforcement Squad. We noticed as a sidewalk vendor, you've been stealing from authors and publishers of the music played on your boom box while engaged in a commercial enterprise.

We have video of one your customers tapping his foot to the music while looking at your T-shirts. We'll have to charge you a per look per T-shirt charge, as well as a per purchase charge for each T-shirt.

However, we won't pay you for encouraging further purchases of the same music, nor will we pay those customers who don't like the music a penalty fee for being forced to listen to it.

We're sure you understand. If we can't extract from you every single monetizable incidence, then there won't be any music. Do you play the boom box in the bathroom too? Be sure to close the door and turn it down, because if someone besides you hears it, we'll have to charge you a per crap and pee charge as well.
Public benefit vs. private profit
written by Scott ffolliott, August 07, 2010 9:01
Public benefit vs. private profit

“Neo-liberalism and globalization and the way they are being implemented today are tantamount to new and sophisticated forms of plundering,”
Excludable once more
written by Ramblin' Jack, August 08, 2010 11:48
So the internet comes along, makes it possible to easily and anonymously steal music and economists throw up their hands and say "oh well, music is now non-excludable, musicians will just have to face the fact that they're not going to get paid for making recordings." Then! The same internet makes it possible to track music use relatively efficiently once again and perhaps restore some measure of excludability. Then economists sputter and imply that there is some sort of sinister big-brothering going on. It's pretty simple. Stop stealing stuff. Musicians work too and most of us are a lot poorer than you.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.