February 5, 2010

The misconceptions of the music labels and their leaders

Posted in Internet Piracy, Monopoly Abuse at 14:10 by frifan

XKCD: How to make pirates out of your customers

The first rule of a successful business is to fulfill the needs of your customers, at least to some extent, but that of course requires that you understand what they want. Never before have I heard of any business that so totally disregards fair-use, regularly sues its customers, calls them pirates and try to push draconian limitation upon them while giving themselves unlimited unquestionable rights over them. All in the name of the artists, but that is is of course pure diversion. The studios even try to blame the Internet Service Providers for their own problems, luckily the don’t seem to succeed there either. Then they try to bend copyright law to serve their purposes, which it is not what the law is meant to do. They even attack the music critiques. Amidst all of this claimed piracy and music downloading, the music industry is growing!

Unfortunately the music business is based on monopolies and abusive practices, even towards the artists. They don’t even seem to be in it for the money. Forget about Digital Rights Management (DRM), it’s a dead end and embrace what technology can give you. Look at Spotify for a good example of how to use technology to your advantage. I am myself a premium subscriber. Some still don’t get it, though. It may be that selling songs is a dying business model, but there are alternative revenue streams that more than make up for it.

I used to like U2 and Bono, until a few weeks ago when Bono, the front-man of U2 showed his true beliefs. His misconceptions about the music consumers are profound and unfortunately shared by many of the influential people in the business, but there are some enlightened exceptions. Evolution is a part of life and while it can be slow sometimes you cannot fight it in the long run. People do pay for music and there are new ways of earning money without record labels, but change may be on the way.

Excellent recommended reading, by Cory Doctorow @ craphound.com:

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

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