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Are We Promoting Piracy?
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David: My point is half a million dollars -- the money just doesn't work the way she laid it out. If the record companies are so bad, how did she make all of her money? Take away the movies. How did she make any money with Hole?

Tim: The point is that some number of people make money. Again, we're going down a bit of a rat hole here, and I don't know that it's really the right direction to go in. The question was asked, "Would I free these books?" and I was starting to go on, on the point that the author of a product -- i.e., the author of a book or the songwriter or the musician -- and the publisher are not one and the same. And so, for example, you have to really look at the web of rights and the web of responsibilities that each has. So, for example, there's books or products that I would have loved to open source, but the author didn't want to. And I respect the rights of authors. I believe that they really count --

David: What if somebody does it for them? In other words, there are lots of books that are published with CD-ROMs in the back that have the entire text of the book on the CD-ROM. What if somebody takes that text and puts it on the Web, and says, "Screw the author. We don't care whether he wants them to or not?"

Tim: I believe that what we need to establish are the moral rights of creators to be compensated for their work. I need people to say, "I want to distribute this stuff as widely as possible, so please, take it and run with it," and somebody else says, "I don't want this distributed." We need to have a mechanism for making that clear and understanding it. You said, "Oh, the Grateful Dead said to people, 'We don't want you putting our stuff on Napster,'" and I think to some extent there's compliance because people say, "OK, we buy that. We have a relationship with those artists."

David: OK, Tim, come on now. Put any song in there. Put in the word "gray" and see how many times you'll come up with the Grateful Dead. I mean the compliance? What level of compliance is there?

Tim: Well, there's a level of compliance that people are still buying their records and they're doing OK.

[Editor's Note: Again, the speakers are confused about the Dead's rule. There is compliance in terms of profiting from the music, but users have not been asked to keep music off of Napster.]

David: What about the question where an artist says, "Look, I'm not finished with this piece of art. Not only that, I'm not proud of this piece of art. I don't want it on the Net. I don't want the works that I did in 1984 put on the Internet. I don't want that shown to my public." It's not like an artist is hell-bent for election to take his earliest attempts at watercolors or sketches and put them up in a gallery. Why is it OK for the end user of this -- any material, whether it's music or not -- why is it OK for them to be the decision makers?

Tim: I'm not saying that it is OK. I'm saying that the reason we're going down that path is because we have not provided any good alternatives.

David: So, when somebody works in a recording company and they grab like a half-mixed version of a song that's about to come out. This happened with an urban artist whose name I can't come up with at the moment, that scrapped the whole album because it was out on Napster. He just went back in the studio, got a new set of people to work with because all of his ability to display things, to stage things, was gone.

Tim: Yeah, and I think if that happens enough times and enough people see the damage, we'll start to build the ethic that says, "Oh, you know, I guess it's not so good to do this. We need to respect what people ask of us." Again, I'm not saying that compliance will be complete, but social norms has played an important role in all of this stuff. We have a bunch of people who are looking purely at technical or legal solutions, when in fact we need to really think through marketplace solutions and social norms. Those are the two things that are missing.

David: Do you think you could change the base nature of human nature, the ability -- do you think you can change the proclivity that humans have to take something that is available to them for free, especially when the collective says it's OK?

Tim: What you can do is find alternate ways to compensate the people who need to be compensated in that stream. You play music during some breaks, how do they get paid? They get paid because there's compulsory licensing that allows music to be played on radio and there's some pot of fees that get collected and distributed through BMI and ASCAP.

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