Category Archives: Music Industry

Reality Sandwich: Transcending Possessiveness in Love and Music

Another Reality Sandwich article.

In the article, the author explores the relationship between ‘free love’ and ‘free music’ and introduces us to this business model:

When I imagine the future of artist-label relationship, the first company that comes to mind is Magnatune, out of Berkeley, California. Flying the motto, “We are not evil,” Magnatune signs nonexclusive distribution agreements with its artists – and allows customers to pay what they think the music is worth, rather than arbitrarily assigning a market price. The result is that they have two charts: the best-selling music, and the music that has sold for the most money. For people who trust the voice of the crowd, the most valuable music is sifted into visibility – motivating artists to craft something evocative and enduring. What’s more, Magnatune offers three free copies of each download to all of its buyers:

“While other record labels are busy suing their customers for introducing their friends to great music… At Magnatune, we want you to copy our music for your friends.”

At the very root, possessiveness is what is undoing most of the traditional leaders in the community, and we’re once again seeing how the music industry is the classic ‘canary in a coalmine’ as it relates to how the industry has died and how it can be built up again.

MPAA Getting in the way of Net Neutrality?

Full Story Here.

Despite there being dozens of perfectly fine business models with respect to music and movie distribution, most of them untried by the music and movie industries, the MPAA persists with the notion that they must have all ISPs police content use by individuals.

Net neutrality laws, [MPAA head Dan Glickman] said, “would impair the ability of broadband providers to address the serious and rampant piracy problems occurring over their networks today.”

“Technology,” Glickman continued, “is handing us the opportunity to deal the first real body blow to online piracy, to begin to reach toward the day when we might be able to take it off the table and debug the system.”

Don’t forget: technology has handed us so much more than just getting a few free tunes or the occasional movie. I’m not going to list the thousands of ways in which technology has at least changed (and many people argue, improved) our lives, but folks in charge of the MPAA or the RIAA or the SAC have to understand that they can either catch up or get out of the way. Continuing to fight an already beleaguered public will only piss people off.

However, that’s really not what’s at issue here. What folks in the industry seem to be arguing is this: we need a multi-tiered web access platform that people will pay for at the higher levels in order to at least monetize those folks who are downloading information en masse. As the author of the article points out, this has a severly negative impact on well-funded and insightful organizations that carry original content. Making people pay for this content would be like making people pay for the air they breath.

Category: DRM issues, media, Music Industry | Tags:

RIAA to cut Artist Royalties

This comes from the ‘let them eat cake’ department:

Though the actual artists who make the music are presently entitled to just 13% of wholesale, the RIAA thinks they should receive only 9%.

Let’s not forget that ‘wholesale’ still means about $0.08 per song or CD.

As one user put it with the comments, “9% of a medium that costs bugger all to distribute?”

I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks started off with the argument that this is good because they will have more money to lobby governments to implement ISP-fee schemes, which will have two deliterious effects:

  1. Users will be paying for all content, regardless of whether they use it or not;
  2. This kind of monitoring will be a serious breach of privacy for online users.
Category: DRM issues, media, Music Industry | Tags: ,

Say No to the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) Proposal for Downloading

Here’s a proposal from the Songwriters Association of Canada as it relates to recouping some of the losses they’re experiencing with internet downloads:

The proposal is this: charge $5 per internet account per month. Based on the level of service across the industry, I’m going to guess that that would work out to the following:
$5 x 12 months = $60 per internet consumer
# of internet consumers in Canada = approx. 17 million
17 million x $60 per year = $1 billion / year


Judging by the links provided on the SAC site, the SAC looks like a bit of a mouth-piece for the music industry, which is in effect, the big 5 media companies that own most of anything related to pop culture produced in the 20th century.

With that kind of backing, consumers in Canada must be aware that this tax (and it is a tax) should not be allowed or acceptable.

If this kind of nonsense becomes law in Canada, it’s a shifty backdoor on a whole pile of ugliness for other industries, including TV, movies, the video my cousin posted on YouTube of him getting bashed in the nuts with a skateboard and countless karoake versions posted by really drunk college kids. They’re all going to have to have a piece of the action if musicians get theirs.

Within a couple of years, Internet subscribers will be subsidizing every failed digital industry, just when it had a chance to break away from TV and other media. A tax like this will stifle the Internet and these people know it.

They’re hoping for it.

This proposal is about as good a “A Modest Proposal” written by Jonathan Swift almost 300 years ago.