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Comment Re:Music and film are essential in two senses (Score 1) 68

I'm not sure we should be dictating commercial restrictions on the supply of all creative content to an entire continent based on the three people in that continent who are studying film or music analysis.

In any case, lots of people are commenting here as if forcing sales to the entire EU to be at the same price will bring the cheaper prices to the richer nations. It seems far more likely that it will bring the more expensive prices to the poorer nations. Your "background music" licence is exactly the kind of expendable luxury that could suffer under the more uniform regime.

Comment Re:Yay for Men's rights... and other possibilities (Score 1) 179

There is no such real thing as "Feminazi" - the radical feminists are more like Stalinists: fantasies of pogroms (see: Julie Bindel) against the "other" (men) and dissidents in their own ranks (such as women who decide to be homemakers). Really, they're like Conservatives, who are in turn just like them. See: Horseshoe Theory.

Some feminists welcome artificial wombs because it frees women from the expectation of childbirth.

Comment Yay for women's rights, too (Score 2) 179

Imagine future generations of womankind growing up in a world where women are no longer needed for making children except for their eggs. This is a first step toward that. And that's not the end of the world for women. It's more like the end of the beginning.

Look at how dishwashers and vacuum cleaners worked out - did women think that was the end of the world because so-called "women's work" was in part automated? Noep, noep, and absolutely noep, it freed women to do other things. Patriarchal boneheads at the time complained about women having more free time but in the end only the Tradcon fringe thinks "women's work" is a thing anymore.

The artificial womb will free women from the expectation of motherhood in order to perpetuate the species. markdavis's remark about women being able to build up their professional life without worrying about missing out on motherhood will be just the first symptom of this liberating technology. Perhaps we'll never be rid of the Tradcons, but technology like this will further enable women to not give a crap about what they think.

Comment Re:Good or bad for customers? (Score 1) 68

Sorry, but that just isn't how economics works.

Firstly, market segmentation is absolutely routine, including by purchaser power. There are countless ways to appeal to people who can afford to spend more, and businesses do this all the time. Have you ever seen a box for a "coupon code" when you ordered something online? That's market segmentation in action. Post coupons to everyone on the poorer street in your example, and now everyone isn't paying the same price.

Secondly, as someone who actually runs some online facilities at-cost, I can tell you that it is a real problem for people in less well-off nations if your price online is the same everywhere. You can't lower the headline price because if everyone was paying the lower price then you literally couldn't afford to keep these services running at that point. However, then the people where salaries and costs of living are generally lower can't keep up, so they lose out. The kind of adjustment we're talking about here is the online equivalent of posting coupons to all the homes in the poor part of town.

The genuine, uniform market price you're talking about doesn't exist in most real markets, because most real markets are not uniform.

Comment Re:Good or bad for customers? (Score 1) 68

You're talking about a monopoly situation. For works covered by copyright, that already exists in the sense that for any given work the rightsholders can decide to offer it only via certain channels.

However, unless those works are also essential, the customer still has the option not to buy them at all, and if the price is too high they will choose to spend their money elsewhere.

Moreover, while individual works may have a monopoly supplier, most creative works will be in competition with other works for providing information, entertainment, etc. Those competitive effects also moderate pricing, preventing the kind of "extraction" model you're talking about.

Around here, Amazon won the pricing war for most CD/DVD/Blu-ray content long ago, yet today it would still be cheaper for me to binge-watch a lot of TV shows through Netflix than through buying all the box sets. Amazon's prices for buying permanent copies of films or shows I really like on disc aren't much different to what they were a few years ago when you could still easily buy the same things in bricks and mortar stores.

Comment Re:What does this do to content? (Score 2) 68

It seems unlikely that EU law will prevent a vendor from selling something at all in selective member states if there is a good reason not to. We looked into this issue when the EU VAT mess was the big news a couple of years ago, fearful that some sort of anti-discrimination provisions would say otherwise. The experts made some straightforward arguments that, for example, declining to sell to customers elsewhere in the EU would be OK if the costs of operating the new tax scheme were prohibitive, because that would be a strictly commercial decision. Presumably complying with the law of the land would also be considered an acceptable basis for making such a decision.

Comment Re:Good or bad for customers? (Score 1) 68

The EU is working being a common market, where it started.

That's lovely, and when the economic situation in all EU member states is similar, maybe they'll achieve it. In the meantime, it is far from clear that this is a good thing.

At least in the sort of context we're talking about here, the "real market price" you mentioned is what someone is prepared to pay for something, no more and no less. Forcing people from areas with very different economic situations to pay the same price just means a lot of things won't be accessible to people from those places that can't afford the same rates as their wealthier neighbours.

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