Economist Supports End to Music Piracy Protection

by Joy Keller on May 01, 2007

The way in which group fitness instructors obtain music for classes has changed immensely over the past 5–10 years. The online music marketplace offers diversity and ease of use, but digital-rights management (DRM) software prevents copying of music sold online. If Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computers, has any say in it, the era of such restrictions could soon be over. In February, Jobs issued a challenge to the four largest music companies to stop using DRM software—a challenge that Michele Boldrin, an economist who studies the hidden costs of intellectual-property-right protections, considers “the latest brick to fall in the inevitable collapse of a legal wall that . . . has been obstructing technological progress and preventing people from enjoying more and better music at a lower price,” according to Newswise.

Along with other economists, Boldrin views Jobs’s plea for the abolition of the DRM system as validation of the need for a vanguard approach to intellectual property—bolstered by the Internet’s power to make digital files instantly available. Boldrin argues that money is a nonissue; in fact, he says there is probably more money than ever in distributing and selling digital content online without DRM, which he considers an obstacle. “Digital content can now be sold very efficiently and in very large quantities via the Web,” he said. “Copies of that same digital content can easily be made and distributed via the Web. Hence they should be allowed to be made—without the obstructions that current ‘antipiracy’ regulations impose upon this economic activity.”

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.