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Is Napster the Best or Worst Thing That's Ever Happened to Music?

April 10, 2013

Prof. Waldfogel to debate Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven's David Lowery at Carlson School on April 19

Rocker David Lowery of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven fame will debate Carlson School Professor Joel Waldfogel about file-sharing's impact on the music industry at the Carlson School on Friday, April 19.

"Resolved: Napster is the Best/Worst Thing That's Ever Happened to Music: A Debate between a Recording Artist and an Economist" stems from an article by Christopher Shea in the Wall Street Journal's Ideas Market.

The debate format will consist of a 20-minute opening presentation followed by five minutes of rebuttal. The participants' roles will then be reversed. The event will end with audience questions.

"Resolved: Napster is the Best/Worst Thing That's Ever Happened to Music" will be recorded for future posting on the school's "Discovery at Carlson" YouTube channel. A limited number of seats for the taping are still available and may be reserved online.

David Lowery is singer-songwriter and guitarist for the legendary alt/indie bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. These two bands have sold more than a million records and had a dozen modern rock hits. He is also a record producer of some notoriety, recording records for The Counting Crows, Jason Molina, Magnolia Electric Company, Lucero, Sparklehorse, and many more. In addition, Lowery is a lecturer at the University of Georgia's Music Business Certificate Program at the Terry College of Business.

Joel Waldfogel is the Frederick R. Kappel Chair in Applied Economics at the Carlson School and was previously the Ehrenkranz Family Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, where he and had served as department chair and associate vice dean. Prior to Wharton, Waldfogel was an associate professor of economics at Yale University.

His main research interests are industrial organization and law and economics, and he has conducted empirical studies of price advertising, media markets, the operation of differentiated product markets, and issues related to digital products, including piracy, pricing, and revenue sharing. He has published more than 50 articles in scholarly outlets and has also written for Slate. Waldfogel received a BA in economics from Brandeis University and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.

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