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Friday, January 16, 2004

Alternative economic models for online music?

Farhad Manjoo, in Is the war on file sharing over?, Salon, January 15, 2004, explores whether it is reasonable for the RIAA and recording industry advocates to claim victory over illegal music downloaders, in light of lawsuits, new sales models such as iTunes, and a Pew study that appeared to show a decline in file sharing as a result of the threat of prosecution. (A recent New York Times article indicates quite the contrary.) He writes: "When file sharing advocates say that the recording industry can make more money by loosening its restrictions, their calculation might seem easy to dismiss as wishful thinking. But a close examination of the economics of file sharing indicates that, if the restrictions are loosened cleverly, this may very well be the case." Manjoo goes on to discuss proposed "blanket licenses," that might enable listeners to pay a fee and download all they can hear. (Free to subscribers, or for watching a brief commercial.) (Source:Techdirt)