File-sharing has weakened copyright—and helped society

Ars Technica: "Has file-sharing helped society? Looked at from the narrow perspective of existing record labels, the question must seem absurd; profits have dropped sharply in the years since tools like Napster first appeared. But a pair of well-known academics argue peer-to-peer file sharing has weakened copyright in the US... and managed to benefit all of us at the same time.

"Consumer welfare increased substantially due to new technology," write Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard and Koleman Strumpf of the University of Kansas. "Weaker copyright protection, it seems, has benefited society."

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