This is one of a series of posts; the last post was here.
Jump across time quickly: from medieval monks to Gutenberg to 1959 and the Xerox 914 and finally to Sean Fanning, who created Napster. These events define three eras of copying. Call the first period Handcrafted Content; the second, Gutenberg’s Professionals; and the third, starting with the Xerox 914, Distributed Content and Copying. In defining these eras, focus on the second-copy costs for the author/publisher versus those of a person in possession of a single copy of the work. Not the cost of producing the first copy, but instead, first copy in hand, how much does it cost to create a copy of that copy? Does the author/publisher have an advantage over a person who has acquired a physical copy of the work?