The Clicker: What did I just buy? - Engadget -

They turned off comments on this article. But it's mention of derivatives got me thinking.

What if we could trade the right to use content independently of the content itself?

In the financial markets, ever since Stani Yassukovich invented the Eurobond, it's become normal to produce ever more complex paper that securitises underlying investments. Fundamentals are grouped, packaged and turned into a derivative paper contract that is then tradable independently of the fundamental. Can the same thing be done with media content? Can we create a situation were I can buy and trade the right to listen to the latest Cinematic Orchestra Album without actually shipping the bits from one place to another? Can I go further than this and package my MP3 collection as a contract to listen to it and then sell that to somebody else? How about futures and options. Could I sell the
right to access it in 6 months time?

To some extent the EULA is all that's left of digital media. The actual bits get moved, converted and transformed more or less without friction. It's only the EULA that has any value. And it's only the physical EULAs that let me prove to the RIAA that I obtained all my MP3s honestly. But
the EULA is just text and itself ends as just bits as well. So what if we used digital money technologies to ensure that one and only one copy of the EULA is in the possession of one and only one person at any one time. Now I can trade this certificate separately from the MP3.

Which reminds me of the guy who did the proof by example of trading an iTMS track on eBay shortly after iTMS launched.

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[ 12-Dec-05 10:56pm ] [ ]