Two Unconventional Thoughts on Copyright

These points are hardly original. But I don’t think they’re conventional, either.

First, I don’t feel any significant voids in my media universe, even in those media people like to make fun of as wastelands. There’s more good music available to me than I’m able to listen to, more good books than I can read, more good movies than I can see, more good games than I can play, and so on. Note that this is true also of TV, even though I don’t watch any. From my perspective as a consumer, the system is not broken.

Second, I’m engaging in pretty extensive speculative intertemporal speculation in my music consumption. Prices for music have been dropping so rapidly that extrapolation suggests that it will become free or almost free within a decade. Faced with that fact, why buy music now? (And note that illegal downloading counts as buying at a randomly-set price that may be zero or may be quite high, and thus has non-zero expectation.) I buy some, but nowhere near as much as I would have a decade ago if I’d had full-time income then. I suspect I’m not alone, and this can’t be helping music sales. As with banks, the expectation that a copyright-based industry is on the brink of failure may be self-fulfilling.

You no longer watch Mythbusters? Or do you watch that via netflix and not count it as “tv” per se?

iTunes, NetFlix, and buying discounted DVD box sets keep us sporadically in touch with the Mythbusters.