January 13, 2003

More on "Replace Copyright with Watermarks, Taxes"

Edward W. Felten writes in reply to my previous comment on Fisher's copyright proposal, that, paraphrased, the problem is not necessarily forcing people to use the reporting system, but in keeping them from cheating with it. In effect, not too little use, but too much use (or corrupted use). Well, either way, we have a beautiful theory slain by an ugly fact.

But even if there was perfect sampling, I think there's a major obstacle in making the money numbers work. HOW MUCH of a tax is going to be necessary? And on what? Again, the "Audio Home Recording Act" had tried a workable answer - primarily, "digital recording media". That at least attempt to scale, as recording media is consumable. I'm not sure how well it held up as media prices plummeted. But "bandwidth", although taxable, is typically flat-rate for consumer quantities, and varies dramatically for video versus audio (so any tax scaled for video likely won't work for audio, and vice-versa). I'd really like to see some numbers attached to the idea. These are the sorts of grubby details that tend to sink appealing speculations.

By the way, did anybody notice that Fisher is proposing the dreaded pay-per-view society?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on January 13, 2003 03:55 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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