Copyright springs from an outdated, analog-era notion of scarcity

In “The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism”, the economist and Nobel Prize winner F.A. Hayek explains the difference between conventional property rights and copyright. While the supply of material resources is limited by nature, the supply of an immaterial good [is] unlimited, unless the government limits the supply by law…. A later Nobel Prize winner, Milton Friedman, describes copyright as a monopoly that decreases supply to a level below the optimal level. Copyright and the regulations that follow from it should, according to Friedman, be described primarily as a limitation of free speech.
In essence, Sigfrid is saying that something in unlimited supply can’t be stolen. His position is a variation on a theme advanced by Mike Masnick of Techdirt.com, among others: that the entertainment industry’s aggressive copyright-enforcement efforts spring from an outdated, analog-era notion of scarcity. Under this view, copyright holders are helped, not harmed, by file sharing and other online distribution pipelines; they just haven’t adapted their business models to take advantage of the new opportunities. Supporters of this view include musicians, authors and filmmakers who say that that file sharing helped bring the exposure they needed to sell their works.
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061026/102329.shtml
Musicians: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20061026/102329.shtml
Authors: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080211.WBmingram20080211125849/WBStory/WBmingram/
Film: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080211.WBmingram20080211125849/WBStory/WBmingram/
The Long Tail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080211.WBmingram20080211125849/WBStory/WBmingram/

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