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Virtual Markets for Virtual Goods: An Alternative

By Peter Eckersley

Abstract

www.ipria.org The Internet and Copyright Law are particularly ill-suited to each other. One is designed to give as much information as possible to everyone who wants it; the other allows authors, artists and publishers to earn money by restricting the distribution of information. The beneficiaries of copyright law are lobbying for the re-design of computers and the Internet to enforce “con-tent control ” and “digital rights management ” (DRM). These technologies are intended to make copyright workable again by re-imposing limits on access to information goods, but they carry high direct and indirect social costs. One alternative, which has generally received much less attention and legislative support than DRM, is to allow free distributions of works, while restructuring digital copyright law so as to remunerate authors in ways which avoid those exclusive rights models which are incompatible with the Internet. This paper introduces the notion of a “virtual market ” — a decentralised, publicly-funded mech-anism which rewards digital authorship and artistry, without restricting flows of information. Th

Topics: Contents
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.133.8968
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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