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Re: About social balances

From: Jonathan S. Shapiro
Subject: Re: About social balances
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 12:08:06 -0500

On Mon, 2005-11-07 at 16:33 +0100, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> There are alternative models that may solve this
> question adequately, from micropayment to national funds.  It is a
> challenge to make those alternative models of compensation work.  But
> it is not a principle impossibility.  In fact, in Germany, we have the
> "Verwertungsgesellschaft GEMA" which is a national fund which
> compensates authors of musical works for public performances of them.
> So, we know for a fact that such things can work.

Micropayment doesn't help, because the cost isn't the issue.

Let's take a closer look at the Verwertungsgesellschaft GEMA idea. Here
is what you appear to be endorsing:

We will form a large organization. This organization will extort money
from every member of the population for a purpose that most members do
not care about and cannot gain any benefit from. However, it is
unsettling to call this act extortion, so we will instead refer to it as
"tax collection." Because the population will not wish to pay, we will
give this organization the power to legislate and to imprison, and we
will encourage it to execute this power with only such restraint as is
dictated, reluctantly, by the occasional public outcry. But we will call
it "government", so it is okay.

This solution sounds suspiciously like DRM, but less fair and
implemented without technological support. If RIAA could merge with the
US government, I am confident that they would *love* this approach.


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