Tue, 31 Jan 2006

Fail fast

I wish that the music industry would fail fast, if it's going to fail at all. I don't see any reason why its business model should be propped up by special protection. I refer, of course, to the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), which imposes special penalties on people whose sole crime may be attempting to make fair use of a copyrighted work. They're also being propped up in both Canada and the USA by a special tax on blank media, including writable CDs. And of course there is the ultimate prop: the elimination of copyright expiration. Most people alive today have not seen a US copyright expire.

The public benefit to allowing a failing company to fail is that if there is truly a market for a similar protect or a similar business model, then the best thing that could happen is for the company to fail fast, so that its replacement can gain clear access to the market. Propping up a failing company interferes with the process of creative destruction.

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