In a rare sign of government siding with users instead of big media, the UK has indicated that it will not be policing ISPs and their users in what has been called a “three-strikes-and-your-out” policy:
There had been mounting speculation about government legislation on the issue as the music industry steps up its fight against the pirates. Other countries, such as France, have supported tough action on file-sharers, who the industry claims cost them dear. But Mr Lammy said legislation would be too complex. “We can’t have a system where we’re talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms,” he told The Times newspaper.
One hopes that other countries take notice and think long and hard before taking on “pirates” in an attempt to save a misguided and floundering music industry.
There is a compelling post by CNet’s Matt Asay exploring the various potential of future music business models.
So I think the “adoption tax” model is promising. The future is flat-rate: you subscribe, you forget about paying for individual transactions, you enjoy more music than you ever have before.
While I certainly see the appeal of this sort of approach I just canceled my cable TV service because the all-you-can-eat approach wasn’t worth the cost – and, of course, because of all of the alternative means to get that content.
Right now, the same is true for music. There are so many free ways (both legal and piratey) to acquire music right now that the idea of adding a new monthly music bill to my accounting seems like a stretch.
As with most internet fads, better get in quick as it will probably be over by next week. But until then we have an all-new meme-in-the-making with the help of Microsoft‘s new Songsmith software.
If you missed the priceless web-video about Songsmith, it basically takes any vocals you sing to it and then adds musical backing tracks in a variety of styles.
Now, (via Pitchfork) comes so downright genius “remixes” in which the lyric tracks of famous songs are loaded into Songsmith and the resulting backing tracks are, well, quite a departure from the original. Of the ones posted on Pitchfork, my favorite had to be this new version of Wonderwall by Oasis:
Aside from being pretty funny, it demonstrates both the possibilities and limitations of a program like Soundsmith. More importantly, it will be fascinating to see if these sorts of mashups become a true new internet meme or just a funny passing fancy.
ArsTech has a great (and very well annotated) look at the ongoing struggles of the UK government to find some sort of working resolution between the music industry and people who use the internet to listen to that music in ways the music industry disapproves of – i.e. file-sharing, linking and streaming copyrighted content.
These are going to be the big issues facing every nation connected to the internet and the manner in which each government decides to handle it will be fascinating to follow.
One thing I desperately hope goes the way of the Dodo Bird (poor guy) is this whole “Three Strikes and Your Banned For Life” idea. This is insane for a slew of reasons.
1) Banning someone from the internet for life is equivilant to forcing someone to be a member of modern society without access to the most important communication and information delivery system in existence. Not only does that seem to violate the basic concept of the punishment fitting the crime but it seems kind of impossible to regulate. How the hell do you ban a person from getting online? Let alone enforce it.
2) Why “Three Strikes?” Not only is this arbitrary but they don’t even play baseball in the UK. What is this magical “three strikes” thing all about? Why three? Why not one? Or one hundred?
3) Finally, what constitutes a strike? What is the line between “sharing” – something we are all taught at an early age is a fine and noble act – and “stealing?”
I could go on, and I likely will in later posts. For now, please get educated on Intellectual Property policies and get ready to fight for your rights – they’re coming to take them away.
Seems like all I am doing today is citing the NYT. Maybe they hope that by actually covering the internet they can remain a relevant media outlet…
Anyhow, they have another piece about the challenges facing the major music labels in the digital age. This has been discussed ad nauseum but they do highlight one fascinating fact that ArsTech also picked up on: Atlantic Records became the first big record label to make more money via digital sales than via CD sales.
The interesting thing to note is how this was accomplished:
“In making that transition to a digital business, the music business has become immeasurably more complicated. Replacing compact disc sales are small bits of revenue from many sources: Atlantic Records’ digital sales include ring tones, ringbacks, satellite radio, iTunes sales and subscription services.”
It used to be much easier to be a record label – just sell records. Well those days are long gone and for the labels that refuse to accept that fact it’s going to be a fast trip to backruptcy.
Accordingto TechDirt, MTV’s new video site has decided it’s viewers are too prone to subliminal suggestion of lyrics and have BLEEPED out part of a Weird Al song!
The line “Like Morpheus or Grokster or Limewire or KaZa” from his tune “Download This Song”has all four website names BLEEPED! Check it out…
Vodpod videos no longer available.