Interesting idea from Robert Cringely about a possible legal version of Napster with a potentially viable business model.
I think there are some serious flaws to his model, and some potential legal challenges (for example, it is not clear to me that "backup" copies can legally be distributed around to a high degree, nor that charging for them is completely legal - but the business model makes some intuitive sense.
Further, there are some other serious issues.
1. Why "must" the model be publically traded? Intuitively I would think that a co-op model, which also has shares might work as well (though potentially less profitibaly)
2. How do you determine that someone is a shareholder? (and how do you maintain them as that - if the shares are publically held they can easily sell them, however if the shares are not publically held and the only buyer of the shares it the company itself (the coop model) then this problem goes away.
7/25/2003 12:03:00 PM
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