Cathy Young on Copyright Enforcement and Online Piracy


It is commonly claimed that digital piracy causes huge revenue losses. But as Contributing Editor Cathy Young points out, the notion that every illegal download represents a lost sale is frankly absurd. Do owners of intellectual property have a right to collect a profit from every consumer? Consistently applied, such a position should lead to a ban on libraries and make it illegal to lend a book or DVD to a friend—or even to resell used books, CDs, and DVDs. Media corporations and other owners would be far better helped by being savvy about consumers' wants and needs than by draconian and ultimately futile attempts to police the Web.