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This may be true in the general case. In the particular case,
they stole content and used it to start a business. Napster
effectively became a pawnshop fence. So, yes, anything succeeds
based on taking something of a known or perceived value and
reducing the cost. It also helps if the Getting is as Easy
as the Having. Users and the used. Without property
rights, none of the rest are possible. I can steal your
silver and have a grand weekend as well as make a lot of
friends. I lose only one and until you replace the silver,
who needs you? So based on a numbers game, burglars
are the ultimate realists. ;-)
Courtney Love had it right: had they come to the artists
first, they would have had a sweet deal.
That said, I may be the only one, but reading Paul's REST
doc at xml.com on the same page as an ad for Visual Studio
at the top that touts its advantages in little pop-ups
says a lot about ease and targeted marketing.
From: Dave Winer [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Yes, and once the free content existed, you got users, and then people
wanting to sell stuff to them, and in order to communicate with them they
would have had to support the protocol that their software supports. No
users, no need to support it. Users, and then support follows.
Think about AIM. Why does anyone care about it (they do, believe me) -- it's
because there are millions of people who use software that runs over AIM.