14.0151 scary story for publishers

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Mon Aug 07 2000 - 19:49:16 CUT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 151.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 20:42:47 +0100
             From: John Lamp <jw_lamp@DEAKIN.EDU.AU>
             Subject: Interesting wrinkle on King's venture

    The new Stephen King novel, published on the Web with a request that at
    least 75% of downloaders send the author $1 for the privilege, may well
    change the way all sorts of intellectual property is marketed, says R. Polk
    Wagner, a Penn law school professor. "Traditional intellectual property
    theory holds that producers (that is, King) won't produce unless they have
    the ability to restrict the access of others to their goods. Here King is
    doing two significant things: First, he's only asking 75 percent of the
    people to pay him, thereby engaging in an unusual form of price
    discrimination where only those who feel the moral pressure to contribute
    will do so. That is, King acknowledges that not everyone will pay. Second,
    he's explicitly asking people to pay for his future services. The
    traditional theory of intellectual property would not consider this
    possibility. Classic intellectual property theory holds that producers must
    get paid for the works they've already created, not works they've yet to
    produce." The result could be troubling for publishers, who depend on the
    sacredness of intellectual property for their livelihood. "If Stephen King,
    one of the 'poster boys' of the intellectual property industry, doesn't
    need intellectual property (protection) anymore, what does that mean for
    intellectual property generally?" (Knowledge@Wharton 3 Aug 2000)


       _--_|\         John Lamp MACS, School of Management Information Systems
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