Fisher's Price

Terry Fisher's proposed solution to the problem of music piracy has been picked up on Copyfight and commented on by Seth Finkelstein among others.

One of the main questions is, how will the compulsory license revenues be distributed. In Fisher's model, there will be some sort of counting done. Since I have been working on a voluntary version of this for some time in order to help me keep track of what I listen to and listen more often to tunes I don't hear as much, I can certainly attest to how difficult it is to do rigorously. So, Seth's point is certainly well taken. The devil is in the details and 100% measurement sounds Fritzian, (or Orwellian). However, on many platforms it is relatively easy -- hey if I can code it, it must be easy. Particularly if you don't have to worry about cheating. So, if we aren't worried about being accurate, but only about sampling and estimating, I think it can be pretty easily done (see Neilson's).

Update: Ed Felten has picked up the thread with a similar but different post which takes into account why people might want to cheat.

Update 2: Seth has replied to Ed's post. Seth has more nits to pick, writing:

But even if there was perfect sampling, I think there's a major obstacle in making the money numbers work. ... I'd really like to see some numbers attached to the idea. These are the sorts of grubbly details that tend to sink appealing speculations.

See also my comments on Seth's reply.

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