File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0103, message 38

Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 08:57:08 -0500
Subject: RE: The rearview mirror stage

Technology may change the relationship of capital distribution and if that's
what's necessary to "give the public free access to the memory and data
banks", so be it. Why does all creativity have to be tied to profit? Looking
through the windshield we can see that things can be otherwise.  I
understand the argument that profit encourages progress but at what cost? I
wouldn't mind lowering the quality of music and everything else if it would
result in moderating consumerism which is almost totally determining our

Don Smith 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 10:31 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: The rearview mirror stage
>      I completely disagree with your analysis. If Napster is 
> required to 
> compensate the recording industry for the unlicensed distribution of 
> copyrighted material, is this such a bad thing? After all,  there are 
> provisions in the Constitution to protect copyrights, as well 
> as a body of 
> statutes which are clearly intended to exclusively protect 
> the creator of the 
> copyrighted material. Directly on point, the 1976 Copyright Act has 
> provisions for the exclusive commercial appropriation of the 
> copyright for 
> the life of the author plus 70 years, entailing the exclusive 
> control of the 
> distribution, public performance and reproduction of the 
> material. In my 
> view, as well as the court's view, Napster did not 
> substantially comply with 
> the spirit of the relevant statutes (especially the 
> distribution component of 
> the statute).
>       Napster profited from copyright infringement. They 
> profited from a 
> parasitical relationship to the recorded music, from the 
> ingenuity and 
> creativity of the rightful copyright owners. Their ethical 
> stance is no 
> different than a distributor of stolen watches or stereos.  
> Napster simply 
> facilitated the unlawful distribution of copyrighted 
> materials, which is a 
> prima facie violation of criminal statutes.
>       Why should someone invest time and money in the production, 
> manufacturing, marketing and distribution of music, if they 
> are not going to 
> be compensated for their efforts?  Why should a 
> pharmaceutical company, for 
> example, invest millions of dollars in R&D, marketing, 
> manufacturing and 
> distribution if the patent is not going to be enforced?
>        Implicitly, you are questioning the wisdom of the intellectual 
> property statutes. Their repeal would be unfair to creators 
> of intellectual 
> property, as well as injecting disorder into the market economy.
>                             TRV


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