August 16, 2004 · Tim Wu
If it is true, first, that widespread piracy at some point diminishes the incentives for industry to invest in new works;
And if it is true, second, that piracy is limited to a demographic, say, 15-25 year-olds (perhaps because people older than that are lazy or value their time more);
Won’t the eventual response of industry be to simply begin investing in films like “On Golden Pond,” and music like “Air Supply, Greatest Hits part 6?”
In other words, doesn’t piracy carry its own punishment? (And conversely, doesn’t paying brings its own rewards?) That’s how the rest of the market works — products follow willingness to pay. And if this is right, what are the arguments for government supplementing the punishment?