SOPA, Internet regulation, and the economics of piracy

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 22 Jan 2012 19:25:26 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

Julian Sanchez at Ars Technica - Congress has been attempting to fix a non-existent problem of internet piracy. Yes, it would be good to discourage illegal downloading, but no, it has little if any effect on the profitability of the film and music industries. It might even be better thought of as free marketing. Great quote in the opening paragraph:

Earlier this month, I detailed at some length why claims about the purported economic harms of piracy, offered by supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), ought to be treated with much more skepticism than they generally get from journalists and policymakers. My own view is that this ought to be rather secondary to the policy discussion: SOPA and PIPA would be ineffective mechanisms for addressing the problem, and a terrible idea for many other reasons, even if the numbers were exactly right. No matter how bad last season's crops were, witch burnings are a poor policy response.

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