2024-05-20 11:38:04
The Club model of cultural consumption and distribution In Focus

When it comes to the market of digital goods, clubs –buyers teaming up to buy a single item and share it among themselves– seem to have little or no economic significance. Digital files
are either perfectly controlled, thus the producer can appropriate all of the consumer surplus
that could have arose by forming a club, or there is no way to control unauthorized copying
thus there is no price at which it would be reasonable to sell a good on the market.
But if we include other, noneconomic aspects of clubs, notably their ability to negotiate and
enforce norms on how a given good is accessed and used, clubs can have a significant effect
on markets. So far we have seen that technological protection measures and copyright laws
cannot effectively curb unauthorized uses of digital content. User communities around
jambands can be an exception from this general trend as together with the artists they have
created a normative environment that is able to police and enforce undesirable actions.
Is there a way to propagate the emergence of such communities through adequate
technologies designed to connect artists and fans? What can we do to help fans and artists to negotiate rules they are both are happy with?


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