Forwarded from Anthony (napster)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Feb 15 16:16:24 MST 2001

Hi Lou.


Even though I am not very interested in Napster, I am interested in this
discussion. It has all the earmarks of the wild west - economically speaking.

Intellectual property rights - transforming ideas or art into private
property which can be bought and sold like pig bellies or Megawatt hours -
have been around for a long time - I think great Britain issued the first
copyright somewhere around 1703, and paintings and other tangible pieces of
art have been sold for longer.

Their modern form is a product of the British, American and French
revolutions - and subsequent squabbles.

However, the emergence of personal comuter technology - combined with the
internet has completely undermined their viability. The legions of the
international petty bourgeoisie - hundreds of millions - hooked up to the
web now or soon, can pass on intellectual property without buying anything

Thats a fact, jack and Maryann.

They are not viable.

How they will be reformed, or what will replace them is an interesting
question - the answer of which is contingent on other developments, but
which might contribute to other developments.

The Bill Gates/Sony/Rupert Murdoch/Ted Turner et. al. solution will surely
not solve the problem. A generation of smart, rebellious and very computer
literate people will efforts to repress technology.

Think about how spinning mill technology traveled from Italy, to Holland,
to England, to the British colonies in North America. Stolen and priated at
every step of the way.

Napster is an interesting portent of things to come, in my opinion. What I
like about the controversy is that a stew of rebellious, smart,
well-educated petty bourgeois is being brewed by capitalism. They could
become the revolutionary intelligentsia of the near future - if the working
class and oppressed come into struggle in a massive way.

I like Napster.


Louis Proyect
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