Thursday, January 03, 2002

How to kill a format The new Napster service will fail because of the restrictive .NAP file format. The recording industry would like to kill MP3 because it's insecure, and techno-libertarians would like to kill it because of onerous patent restrictions. The latter will struggle because MP3s feel free to users. The former will fail unless Microsoft and the US Govt get together and force a change through. Better compression and sound is not a factor because MP3s are good enough. Unrestricted use improves the experience and gives such formats a competitive edge. And MP3 already enjoys demand side network effects.

On the subject of Microsoft vs DoJ, only 22 days left to file your opinion.


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