No. of Recommendations: 1
hey Fools,

I was talking with a friend of mine recently and his general conclusion was "intellectual property rights are going to go bye-bye." I have to say, I agree. Whether or not we think it's right, it's going to happen. No one is going to put up with SDMI music files that charge you a nickel to play them when MP3's will always be circulating in one way or another. As hard disks and bandwidth get bigger, movie trading is only going to be more prevalent (not like some buddies didn't have a copy of American Pie two days after it was released). My friend's theory is that CD's will just have super-nice packaging to entice you to fork over a more modest fee of $6 or so. Who knows... I still buy the majority of music I listen to for that reason. I like my packaging, what can I say? And people will still want the experience of going to the theater and seeing Tom Cruise brandishing the latest guns and a head as big as your body.

I thought about this a bit and found it oddly ironic that books seem to be the most strong contender for avoiding this sort of hassle. Who wants to read a 346 page Word document? Blech! I'll pay my $6.95. Besides, books have been free for a long time -- libraries, anyone? -- and yet that industry still manages to stay afloat (albeit in weird ways).

Oddly enough (well, if you see the subject matter, not so oddly) I started a thread regarding a Napster-like product on the EBAY board: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1100317002740000 , and there's a fair bit of discussion regarding how unstoppable Gnutella is here: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1100317002740005&sort=id . Napster's central server design could be stopped. Gnutella's completely decentralized file-exchange (we're not just talking MP3's anymore!) is another story.

The record industry has historically resisted change in a big way. I eagerly await their sticking their well-shoed feet in their foolish (small f) mouths, no matter how long it takes. (And as a side note, it does sadden me that they think artists will only create for profit... blech^3.)

There are, of course, various people who believe the net can be controlled (I was just looking at a book entitled _Code_ which seemed to be on this topic), but the net has knack for finding a method of distribution. It's designed that way. It's what it is. It's what it does. It is going to be very hard to reverse this precedent, but I still want a look at that book...

-TMFSolid
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