Thursday, November 4, 2010

So ...Why Not?

Following on from my post yesterday about a proposed license scheme for file sharing I thought today I would try to answer the obvious question which is, why hasn't something like this been done yet?

The short answer is that it can't be done yet. Why? Because the four major record labels are not people - they are corporations. Corporations whilst enjoying the rights of people actually lack moral capacity (find and read Aidan Ricketts LLM thesis & the book 'When Corporations Rule the World by Korten). The Corporations Law requires that directors make decisions in the interests of the corporation (the business judgment rule) and from that comes considerations about profits - by law they can only do something if it will ensure more money to the corporation. Until we reach what I call the 'tipping point' that is the point where is it financially more viable to agree to a licensing regime there simply can't be one on a voluntary basis.

Furthermore compulsory licenses are hard to implement too - International Agreements raise the prospect of trade sanctions against Governments that do not act to protect intellectual property rights. While the big four still lobby for strong protections there are slim possibilities that Governments can enact legislation.

There's a lot more about this yet to go into my thesis but essentially it comes back to the fact that corporations are not people - they can't think of anyone but themselves and by law the directors are stuck even if they can see the benefits of these types of proposals. SO wait for the tipping point or make a strong case to the Government (unlikely in the USA due to campaign donations/public choice theory).

Without meaning to induce anything I would like to finish by saying - perhaps the more people file share now the sooner we will get some common sense back into the music industry....

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