3.1. Example from Another Industry

I wrote this piece in 2000 when the original Napster was still operating and in the midst of lawsuits. At the time, portable MP3 players were in their infancy, with the Apple iPod still more than a year away.


The recording industry needs to learn more from the software industry than just suing people involved in copying.

Reading the statements of the recording industry about Napster and seeing its legal maneuvering, I've felt somewhat conflicted. I feel something is wrong with how the music recording industry is going about it, being so heavy-handed and uncompromising. Yet, I'm reminded of my tenure on the board of the SPA (the Software Publishers Association, now known as the Software and Information Industry Association, SIIA[]). We had a campaign, started a decade ago and still going, that got us and related organizations the nickname of the "Software Police." We'd go after "pirates" who made illegal copies of computer software. We'd participate in raids with law enforcement agents where illegal copies were confiscated and millions in "makeup" payments were made. It was effective. Piracy in U.S. corporations slowed substantially, and a vibrant software industry flourished with many people paying for our software.

Why isn't what the recording industry doing the same as the SPA, looking to emulate our success?

Here are some thoughts:

The software industry

There were two types of "pirates" that the SPA ...

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