Friday, January 20, 2012


Piracy vs. Censorship-2

Internet users have stifled the progress of strong federal legislation against "piracy," or the unauthorized use for profit of material covered by copyright.  The point of copyright protection for a piece of music is to enable the composer to profit from its performance.  In the old days it was sufficient to prevent other performers from performing the protected music without paying the composer some money.  It was pretty easy to enforce the copyright.

Today, with the Internet and the proliferation of facilities for storing, printing, and replaying music, it is between very difficult and impossible to enforce a copyright once the piece of music is available on the net.  Anyone with the right equipment and software can download the piece, make copies, and sell them.  The best protection the composer has is to keep the music off the Internet.  Even so, an unscrupulous person can buy a copy of the music on a CD at a music store and make a copy of it.  The technology of recording has developed to the state that, Internet or not, it is almost impossible to prevent pirating of music once it is available commercially in some form suitable for playing it.  Whatever I can hear I can copy, print, and sell.  It is impossible for any government to catch and punish or restrain music pirates.  Even strong laws won't solve the problem because they're inherently unenforceable.

We need a new model for protecting and rewarding artists who create beautiful music.

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