‘The actual monetary loss to

‘The actual monetary loss to piracy might never be known, but the recording industry can count at least one statistic. "The music industry is still looking in the wrong direction," Allen said. "The customer is always right, and the customer in obviously voting with her feet.’

Wired

Beautiful.

Great quote.

The music industry lost money again last year. They continue to blame Napster.

Small problem… Napster has been offline for over a year.

How many of you out there copied and stole a lot more music, probably guilt free, back when you just copied it onto a cassette tape? You can try to make the argument about quality differences… but copying is still copying.

It occurred to me a few days ago that the modern music labels are some of the only art producers who want to or try to maintain a total control over their product. Almost the only people who insist that every single copy/version/performance is reimbursed separately.

Authors never lobbied to dismantle libraries, and would likely be burned at the stake if they tried.
Painters, sculptors, and other visual artists often dream of being exhibited in a museum, where people don’t generally pay per piece.

You could argue that dancers and stage actors often do get money from each audience member for each viewing. But honestly, how far up on the pop culture scale do those artforms rate, today?

I read an interesting comparison the other day, relating digital music to software. Software manufacturers have not tried to hunt down the individual copyright violators, but instead take reasonable steps to protect the software when it is distributed, and go after the people violating the copyrights on a mass scale. And unlike the music business, the software programers have not asked every other related industry to protect their product because they cannot.

Lets face it. The RIAA and associated labels are scared senseless. They haven’t known what to do in over 15 years. Fifteen years of the most technological innovations in over a century. It’s a public secret that the music labels killed the release of Digital Cassettes, because they would have been duplicated so simply. Since then, music companies have not supported a single other distribution format with any vigor. Although this bit of history will surely be rewritten, it was the users and customers themselves who decided what new format they wanted. Consumers who were tired of waiting decided it was not only time for music to go completely digital, but also ambulatory. And you can’t blame the electronics manufacturers from fulfilling the demand. MP3 may be the modern superstar, but it was hardly the first. I was downloading AIFF files 7 years ago.

Seven fucking years.

Note to the music industry: pull your heads out of your asses and try to catch up. We are no longer waiting for you. While you expend great sound and fury trying to protect the status quo in the courtroom, we continue to evolve without you. Be prepared to jump again.

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One Comment

  1. April 21, 2002
    Reply

    Nevermind that most of the new releases on the radio these days really suck. I don’t want to listen to it, much less download it, or, god forbid, buy the crap!

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