Andrew Odlyzko is very clever [Wer]:

The impractical method for stimulating broadband adoption is to make music free on the Internet. As Thierer notes, Napster and its cognates have been among the main reasons people buy broadband connectivity. Instead of using the law to choke file swapping, perhaps we should encourage the telecom industry to buy off the music studios. Total recorded music sales in the US come to a grand total of about $15 billion per year, while telecom spending is over 20 times higher. Thus in the abstract, it might be a wise investment for the phone companies to buy out the studios. This is of course wildly impractical for business and legal reasons, but it would quickly stimulate demand for broadband. (It would also demonstrate that the content tail should not be wagging the telecom dog, as it too often does in political, legal, and business discussions.)

posted October 15, 2002 12:47 PM (Technology) #


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Aaron Swartz (