FC: IEEE's Steven Cherry wants mandatory music licenses, hard drive tax

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 20:20:49 PST

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    [Steven Cherry recommends that Congress "order some form of compulsory or 
    blanket licensing for downloaded music." This has become a common refrain. 
    But it sounds off-key to me. It presupposes that lobbyists with the ear of 
    Congress or the Copyright Office will come up with a solution that will 
    benefit the public more than a marketplace where people can contract 
    freely. By treating all music equally, a blanket license may ignore 
    differences in quality. More importantly, such licenses impose government 
    "price controls" and restrict the freedom of the content owner to negotiate 
    their own price for a license. I license my photos. If the Feds told me I 
    could charge only $XXX when I think my photos are worth $XXX+$YYY, I'd be 
    angry about the lost revenue. The folks at Cato have talked about this in a 
    bit more detail here: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-423es.html Also in 
    the article, Cherry correctly says that the Feds currently tax blank CDs as 
    a sop to music owners upset about piracy. But, amazingly, he suggests that 
    the "tax could be extended to memory sticks, data CDs, even hard disks." 
    Perhaps we could also tax blank paper because of those piracy-enabling 
    photocopiers? --Declan]
    Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 16:53:49 -0500
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    From: Steven Cherry <s.cherryat_private>
    Subject: IEEE Spectrum - Getting Copyright Right
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
    X-UIDL: 28a2b558541b7c9bc1148cca1892baab
    Getting Copyright Right
    Mandatory copyright licensing legitimized the early radio and cable TV 
    industries. Can it do the same for the Internet?
    By Steven M. Cherry, Senior Associate Editor
       Steven Cherry, +1 212 419 7566
       Senior Associate Editor, IEEE Spectrum, New York, NY
       <s.cherryat_private>  http://www.spectrum.ieee.org
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