The Corner

Taking Issue

James Miller, in his NRO article today “Digital Communism,” rightly argues that downloading music is theft. However, he misses a few key points. Not all content available on such networks is copyrighted-restricted. Many artists have chosen to bypass the music cartel and sell their work directly to the consumer on networks such as MP3.com. Also, regulating file sharing amongst millions simply isn’t technologically or legally feasible. While lawyers were suing to stop Napster, dozens of other systems sprung up, many overseas. Most importantly, the music industry has so far rejected free-market solutions and instead relied on authoritarian means to preserve their power. Consumers have very few options in downloadable content. This is changing. During its first week in service, one million songs were purchased from Apple’s new music service, iTunes Music Store. There’s money to be made in downloadable content as those companies that innovate will eventually discover. Too bad record companies are busy suing file-sharing networks to realize it.

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