Horrigan, John B. & Schement, Jorge Reina (2002). Dancing with Napster: Predictable consumer behavior in the New Digital Economy. IT & Society, 1(2), 142-160. Retrieved from https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3736P8F
AbstractThe Internet is often characterized as a "disruptive technology," as recently argued by the music industry against Napster and by Sony against PC emulations of its PlayStation. Three questions are raised: 1) How much does the Internet replace traditional media? 2) As another information channel, does the Internet supplement traditional media? 3) How much do Internet users navigate the Web in order to download relevant information goods (news, music, movies) as part of their consumption and purchase strategies?Data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project are used to test two competing hypotheses: 1) Easily copied and distributed digital content encouragesconsumers to exploit the "information wants to be free" character of the Internet, thereby hampering the growth of the market for information goods and services, and 2)Information consumers practice a sophisticated arbitrage process across different media, by weighing the value of online and offline information and thereby reinforcing active participation in the electronic marketplace. The efforts of the music industry to obstruct the downloading of MP3s may represent a serious misunderstanding of consumer arbitrage practices, much as book publishers characterize library use as a threat to book sales. Policy implications of thiswork extend into ongoing public and corporate policy debates about digital content and intellectual property.
SubjectsMass media, Internet, Digital media, Information policy
RightsCopyright for scholarly resources published in RUcore is retained by the copyright holder. By virtue of its appearance in this open access medium, you are free to use this resource, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Other uses, such as reproduction or republication, may require the permission of the copyright holder.