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November 26, 2003


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Howard Rheingold

I recall a conversation with EFF folk about p2p, Napster style. They compared the music recording industry as it exists to Napster along three dimensions:

1. Making music available to the culture: Napster did this extraordinarily well, surfacing from old collections of vinyl a wealth of music that is not commercially available; RIAA doesn't make a fraction of that music library available to the world.

2. Distribution: Nobody disbutes that digital distribution and p2p online distribution beats CDs. Napster wins again.

3. Compensation: Paying creators to incent them to create; Napster did this not at all, RIAA does it poorly.

There ought to be a way to allow free and creator-controlled p2p distribution to coexist.

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