Tuesday, May 15, 2007


STRATEGIC: Napster venture capitalist on "self-expression" payments

Hank Barry is a principal at Hummer-Winblad Venture Partners, the VC which
invested in the original Napster before it got shut down by lawsuits. He
is interviewed on the future of digital media at a blogging website called

Barry was CEO of Napster and previously was a partner with Wilson Sonsini
Goodrich & Rosati, where he led the firm's interactive new media practice.
Hank holds a B.A. degree in economics with highest distinction from the
University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School, where
he was managing editor of the Stanford Law Review.

The link is here:

Here are excerpts:

"[W]e are in the early days of payments systems other than
advertising in what you might call the "self expression market." That is
changing, as we get into payment structures for RSS (subscriptions),
digital object marketplaces like Bitpass, etc. But there is no eBay for
digital objects, where an individual can choose to, say, offer one work on
a Creative Commons license and another for many dollars. That will

" . . . If you are looking at it economically, I can see a time when the
sum of all the individual information commerce has economics that look
like that of "traditional content producers," but it will be a long while.
And I am not certain that independent (i.e., small or individual)
producers will necessarily benefit. As I said, the tools for creating that
work are ahead of the channels for distribution (and the tools for
search). That is changing, as we get into new payment structures, etc."

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