International Intellectual Property Law and the Cranberries

It is generally understood among economists that the United States Intellectual Property law is too strong and thus hurts overall social welfare and creates incentives such that every savvy Internet user is now a criminal because in regards to media, the protections are largely unenforceable. In the dark and barbaric world outside the Faterland, US IP is even less respected by the general populace despite WTO TRIPS standards and other bilateral agreements. Indeed, Russia's accession to the WTO has effectively been blocked by the US over this issue.

Currently, the most glaring example of the IP dispute is the Russian music pay site allofmp3.com which offers tracks or albums of music at cut-throat rates without nasty DRM. Ironically, calls my the RIAA and other IP unions to eliminate the site only furthered its popularity and reduced the sale volume of retail sites like iTMS.

To give a personal example, I love the Irish group 'The Cranberries' (discography torrent). Their song 'I Don't Need' has only been on a couple of compilations or singles and so is difficult to find. I even went so far as to pay $1 for the DRMed version of it on iTMS last year, but since this limits you to 5 systems, after transferring my music library several times, the track no longer worked. This is really a hassle so in order to skip all the nonsense and support a developing nation, I signed up to allofmp3. It was easy; they accepted Visa, and the 320 Kbps track cost $0.30. Here's to maintaining the status quo.

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