By , May 04, 2012.

Why Musicians Need More Than Viral Videos to Succeed — Excellent interview with Billy Corgan on music, success, and value in today’s world.

You Can’t Have A Healthy Market Economy Without Property Rights.  Why Do So Many In Tech Blogosphere Want To Abolish Cyber Property Rights And Cripple The Cyber-Economy? — David Lowery returns to the Trichordist: “I realize that what I am saying about robust property rights and healthy economies is nothing new. It’s a rather elementary and banal critique of the Copyleft’s proposed cyber-economy. What is more interesting is why there are so few other voices out there challenging these wackjobs? Why is it left to the singer of a moderately successful cult rock band to challenge this nonsense? That’s the real story here. Where are the grown-ups?” Part 2 here.

If it looks like a bubble and it feels like a bubble… — Is Silicon Valley partying like it’s 1999? Or is a 2 year old company with 13 employees and no revenue or business plan really worth $1 billion?

Silicon Valley’s Hottest New Start-Up Idea: Nothing — This Forbes article suggests answers to the above questions. “Do you have a can’t-miss idea for a start-up that could be the next Facebook, Pinterest or Draw Something? Great. Write it down on a piece of paper. Now burn that piece of paper. Congratulations. You’re halfway to your first billion.”

Is the Midnight Screening the New Rock Concert? — Interesting article on Viacom’s new blog. Midnight screenings of films have gone from niche to mainstream and are filled with hardcore fans, making the experience more like a rock concert than just another day at the movies. Check out the rest of the Viacom blog, it’s a cut above your run-of-the-mill corporate blog/press release archive.

Jimmy Wales’s Latest Speech Is ‘Nonsense on Stilts’ — Speaking of films, Andrew Keen takes on Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wale’s recent comments that “Collaborative storytelling and filmmaking will do to Hollywood what Wikipedia did to Encyclopaedia Britannica.” “Like so many other digital utopians,” says Keen, “Wales has been deluded by the leveling power of the Internet.”

Best Practices Make Best Partners — Good news: “Today the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) announced a Statement of Best Practices encouraging their members to adopt proactive measures to combat rogue websites dealing in counterfeit and infringing goods.  The Best Practices also have the support of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).”

Rojadirecta — Both the US and Puerto 80 have filed their briefs concerning Puerto 80’s motion to dismiss the government’s civil forfeiture proceeding against the Rojadirecta domain name. US Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Motion (PDF). Puerto 80 Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion (PDF). A hearing on the motion is scheduled for the beginning of next month.


  1. I’m rereading the Rojadirecta briefs you linked to, and I think the government has the right First Amendment argument. 18 U.S.C. 2323, the forfeiture statute, is a general regulation. Generally applicable regulations of conduct invite First Amendment review only if (1) they inflict a disproportionate burden on First Amendment activities, or (2) constitute government regulation of conduct with an expressive element. Arcara v. Cloud Books, Inc., 478 U.S. 697, 702-03 (1986). The statute by its terms does not disproportionately burden those engaged in First Amendment activities more than it does those engaged in any other activities. Nor is the conduct at issue here–copyright infringement–conduct that has a significant expressive element. There’s no reason to apply even intermediate scrutiny to the statute (which it easily passes regardless).

    Nor are the seizures even prior restraints that would require procedural safeguards such as a preseizure hearing. The domain names are not presumptively protected materials (like books), they are pieces of property tainted by the fact that they were used to commit crimes. The fallacy in Puerto 80’s argument is that seizing a domain name is the same thing as seizing the presumptively protected materials that the domain name provides access to. It’s not. The government is blocking one particular avenue of accessing presumptively protected materials, but it’s not blocking the particular presumptively protected materials themselves–the materials can be freely disseminated otherwise than by the tainted piece of property. The prior restraint argument is a red herring.

  2. The title of David Lowery’s Trichordist essay — “You can’t have a healthy market economy without property rights” — contains the seeds of the answer. There are other economies besides market economies. Culturally, what evolved as the Internet was based on a gift economy, not a market economy, and that bias is woven deeply into human behavior on the network.

    In early network days there were several large attempts to build networks based on market economy principles — CompuServe and AOL spring to mind. On those networks, property rights were respected and policed, and large scale self-publishing wasn’t workable. But the market-economy networks withered once the open internet, organized socially on gift economy principles, became widely available. Competition and evolution in action… 🙂 Ultimately, I expect there is no way to force a pure market economy on an open Internet, because sharing is too embedded as a human behavior.

    Idea for academic research — compare Internet economic behaviors to the Pacific Northwest native tribes who were based on gift economies.