March 23, 2004

A Lesson for the RIAA and MPAA

Lost in their ongoing attempt to keep the music market constrained the RIAA continues to harrass music downloaders and the MPAA is attacking peer 2 peer applications and working to have anticopying technology built into consumer goods.

They would, perhaps, be better served to look at what is happening over at that bastion of capitalism on the web: the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Amongst other activities these folks sell books and an interesting thing has happened to the volumes that they have made available on the web: the sales of paper copies improve. For example, they recently made a book called Omnipotent Government available on the web:

What happened was precisely the reverse of what the publisher expected. Instead of lost sales, the sales of the book shot up. In the few weeks since the text went online, more copies of this book left our warehouse than during the whole of the last decade.
The RIAA and MPAA folks would do well to think about this:
The point is to expand the market and not assume a fixed number of consumers. Books online and offline reinforce the viability of each other, just as movies in theaters boost movies in rental, and free radio helps the market for CDs for purchase. It takes some thought and entrepreneurial judgement to understand why, but the history of technological development informs the case.
Read the rest of the article.

Via Hit and Run.

Posted by Steve on March 23, 2004

That's much the same thing that Janis Ian found when she started putting her own music on her site for free download - sales shot up 300%.

Posted by Avedon at March 23, 2004 7:02 PM
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