The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

From the Volokh law blog.

I saw this over at Radley Balko's The Agitator blog and thought I'd give it a glance. And damn ...

It looks like this will be ramrodded through via executive order. From what people can tell from the drafts this is bad news for anyone that does anything on the internet.

Like this for example:

Paragraphs 2 and 3 mandate a statutory damages provision in civil copyright law, as under US law — so that copyright holders, even without the need to demonstrate any measurable harm whatsoever, can recover awards thousands of times greater than any possible damage they may have suffered.
Yeah, because that's totally cool. Some kid downloads the latest album from X band, the company goes after him for $70K instead of the $12.95 cost of the album.

I do find this funny given that much of the non-mainstream music genres (like metal) have embraced the download the album first and see what it's about rather than throwing a collective hissy fit. many of these bands wouldn't get any exposure any other way. An excellent example is the Progressive Death Metal band Persefone (I blog about them here) who is from the tiny country of Andorra. While tey aren't very big in Europe or the US yet, they are huge in Japan. Their success has been directly tied to the international spread of their music through both legal and "illegal" means.

I still want to know how you regulate an idea or regulate information when the means to pass that data are as easily accessible as they currently are. Intellectual property rights are a sticky debate to begin with and I wonder what the future holds if the international community continues to "clamp down" on the spread of ideas, even if that spread is "illegal".

I found this pic very funny because what has happened is that the more albums circulate for "free" on the internet, the more many of those bands see their revenues increase from the live shows.

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