Freedom, Music and Private Property

A number of months ago,  Chris Hansen and I attended a music business seminar sponsored by CLA.  A big topic of discussion was piracy and unregulated file sharing, and the impact that technological development has on the music business. Over the past decade, world wide revenue in the music business has shrunk from $40 Billion to $17 Billion - a reduction of over 57% in the money that goes in the pocket of artists.  It's no secret that the large internet companies fueled the demise of the music business - their increase in revenue over the past decade follows the decrease in revenue in the music business. (see "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner)

Now we all know the horse has left the barn - there is no going back to an era of less technology, unless the the Walkman has a retro-induced revival.  The Millenial Generation has grown up with the expectation of having unlimited choice and access to information, especially to music. And this generation has unwittingly become a bunch of  hipster theives, because everytime a person shares a music file in an unauthorized manner, that person is stealing a potential financial benefit to the artist who created the work. 

I admit that previous paragraph is a bit harsh - that generation grew up with all that available to them, and had no prior experience of the business models that had existed before.  They simply were not made aware that file sharing is stealing.  And that is an inherent danger to the mindset of the Millenials - their lack of awareness of what is stealing implies a lack of understanding of private property.  If you look at the economic history of successful nations versus  failed nations (ex, Australia vs, Zimbabwe), the legal right and protection of private property is one of the most important factors for an inclusive altruistic political economic system that can benefit any citizen who participates in business.  As East Bay Ray said at the CLA business seminar, "You can't have freedom without private property."

I think the Millenials need some kind of political radicalization to wake them up to the current trend of government centralization, the slow erosion of the respect and protection of private property, and the current trend of government seeking extra-constitutional powers that exceed legal boundries. Maybe some techie can create a game that takes a free citizen and slowly turns him into a vassel of the state by eroding rights, and by distracting attention with frivolous entertainment - like playing games.

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