Down in the Slashdot commentary on an excellent New Yorker article called "The Permission Problem" was this interesting comment, one that resonates with me.
The idea in the New Yorker article is that intellectual property (IP) law perhaps creates more inefficiencies than it resolves by making it too expensive to bother creating around existing IP and by making it apparently too expensive to round up IP owners to get the proper permissions. Against this argument was "Shados'" suggestion that what people really want is weak IP, not no IP:
Give your songs for free! The money is on the tour... Of course, as long as another band doesn't do -exactly- the same songs with a bigger marketing budget (and if everyone does it, ONE of the bands who copy you will most likely be better). Also, that's as long as the video of your show isn't in hi definition 7.1 surround blu ray the day after it for free (or even worse, SOLD by someone else). With absolutely -zero- copyright, its a lot less powerful as a promotion tool. (Now it works because you're only letting indiviuals step in... once corporations can rape your copyright too, things get a little grim). Oh, and without IP laws, people can rip off your name, your logo, everything, and not only sell it as free promotion to you... but make it -theirs- and use it for -themselves-.
If you're really well known... no one will think the "fake" Metallica is the real thing. If you're just starting though? BANG! Gone.
This reminds me of Radiohead's Thom Yorke, who commented to David Byrne that Radiohead's decision to give away In Rainbows could only work because Radiohead has an established brand, one for which people are willing to pay:… Read more