The entertainment industry is taking its battle against illegal downloading to America’s Supreme Court. But attacking the technology behind file-sharing could stifle innovation without tackling the industry’s long-term problems.
The music business should have stuck by Thomas Edison’s technology if it wanted to avoid the threat of piracy. His wax cylinders could record a performance but could not be reproduced; that became possible only with the invention of the flat-disc record some years later.
update2: Boing Boing (finally via Xeni Jardin) linked in: assault on filesharing by entertainment biz is senseless: “attacking the technology behind file-sharing could stifle innovation without tackling the industry’s long-term problems.”; and Mercury News Comments : Grokster case pits tech innovation vs. Hollywood’s rights. Tomorrow is court day.
How do we know this? Well, we do studies. Like, for example, the just-published Japanese study by Keio Universtity Economics professor Tatsuo Tanaka, who looked at the P2P application “Winny” and its effect on Japanese music consumers. Prof. Tanaka’s original study is reported on here (Japanese HTML), but fortunately for people like me there’s an English translation (17 page PDF).