Friday, September 24, 2004

P2P and the Future of Copyright

Peter Yu has a new paper out on SSRN, which provides a meta-view of the p2p battles and the connected current scholarship on copyright: P2P and the Future of Private Copying.

Lots of name-dropping and an analysis of the many proposed solutions to unauthorized copying (e.g. mass licensing, compulsory licensing, voluntary collective licensing, technological protection). At the end of the abstract Yu writes:
This Article concludes by challenging policymakers and commentators to step outside their mental boundaries to rethink the P2P file sharing debate. In the fashion of thought experiments, this Article compares the digital copyright wars to (1) a self-preservation battle between humans and machines, (2) an imaginary World War III, and (3) the conquest of Generation Y. By using these comparisons, this Article demonstrates that policymakers should not focus on legal solutions alone.
Towards this last thought experiment Yu notes that "as the kids of today grow older they might begin to understand the pain of not getting paid after doing a day of hard work. As rapper Eminem said candidly in his usual provocative style":
"Whoever put my s_t on the Internet, I want to meet that motherf_ker and beat the s_t out of him, because I picture this scrawny little d[_]ickhead going 'I got Eminem's new CD! I got Eminem's new CD! I'm going to put it on the Internet.' I think that anybody who tries to make excuses for that s_t is a f_king bitch. I'm sorry; when I worked 9 to 5, I expected to get a f_king paycheck every week. It's the same with music; if I'm putting my f_king heart and all my time into music, I expect to get rewarded for that. I work hard . . . and anybody can just throw a computer up and download my s_t for free. . . . If you can afford a computer, you can afford to pay $16 for my CD."
That's the same Eminem who's CD made No.1 despite of file-sharing. (By the way, censoring Eminem's poetic rant was in the original text. I like it raw.)


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