On the scarcity of the infinite

Mike Masnick writes on Techdirt an eloquent summary of the current state of the music industry and copyright:

What it really comes down to, yet again, is that this is a business model problem. For years, an industry that relied on artificial scarcity is discovering that it’s hard to keep that artificial barrier in place. It can’t pretend something is scarce when it’s really infinite — and trying to limit it will only backfire in the long run. What you need to do, instead, is figure out new business models that embrace the infinite nature of the goods, and focus on selling additional scarce goods, preferably additional scarce goods that are made even more valuable by freeing up the infinite good.

The false scarcity of an infinite good really struck a chord with me. True enough, there used to be a bit more reality to the scarcity of music, but after the advent of the internet, that’s no longer a possibility at all.

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