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After good readings of these two threads (here and here) i thought that a good study on the viability of mp3 as commodity, from an economic/market point of view, is a fundamental part of our business and discussions.

So, i started to compile some interesting conclusions on the nature of mp3 as a commodity, as follows:

1. Mp3 is a exact copy of the original, not a counterfeit of it; It is a reduplication of the original prototype (that we usually call final master);

2. This reduplication is uncontrollable, not only because 'piracy' is innevitable, but because sharing music is a widespread social behavior, real or virtual. Even without p2p, people do share their libraries and music and as internet took social relations to a much bigger scale, normal social sharing of music jumped to a bigger scale too (threads cited above have further discussion on this);

3. Since mp3 is a infinite reduplication of the original, it is a commodity that has no limits, its a commodity that is never scarce. As if the factory never ceased to produce it. Mainly because when the factory actually stops manufacture it, consumers will start to manufacture them in minor or major scale. So, from a market point of view, mp3s do have infinite supply, it's a commodity that is constantly overflowing the market.

4. This way, sooner or later, after it's realease, even if originally sold, mp3 will have a curve of price degration, up to a moment when it becomes worthless, when it's price drop to zero

5. If, inevitably, the price of mp3 will drop to U$0. Where is the viability of it as product?


The second important discussion on the viability of mp3 as a commodity, from an social point of view, is its relation with 'necessity'. Because:

6. Mp3 is a commodity not subject to fetishism, to reification. It's a product that people usually can't 'brag about' with the next guy, it's not subject to social competition, at least, not anymore (it might have been 10 years ago).

Reification is to separate something from the original context in which it occurs, and placing it in another context, in which it lacks some or all of its original connections yet seems to have powers or attributes which in truth it does not have. (Luckacs, 1923).

This is more explicit when people associate sports cars with virility; the 'relevance' of shoes to some women; the number of books in his library for a noble scholar of the 1700s; the strange 'necessity' to change cellphones to a better model every three years. There are many examples.

Mp3 supply became so widespread (infinite) and it's access so easy and infinity, that there is no point - from a social perspective - to brag about it.

This fact puts mp3s straight against one of the most important characteristics of any capitalistic product: it doesn't create the necessity of update or replacement by a 'newer model'; it's a product that never gets obsolete, even after it's price drop to U$0. The use-value of it remains constant, despite of its price drop.

Therefore i ask again: what is the viability of mp3 as a product?