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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Jason Schultz
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Wendy Seltzer
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Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« Lessig on Free Culture, Squared | Main | Fair Use - Theory v. Practice »

May 14, 2004

Talking About an Evolution

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Posted by

Jason Schultz @ LawGeek, responding to Yochai Benkler's suggestion that while music will undoubtedly survive peer-to-peer, the record labels might not:


What we need is not for the record industry to 'die' but rather to have the industry evolve. We still need methods of marketing and distributing music. P2P does a nice job of distribution but it has yet to demonstrate that it can market an unknown band on its own to the same scale that the RIAA can. P2P does a nice job of distribution but it has yet to demonstrate that it can market an unknown band on its own to the same scale that the RIAA can. [DJ Dangermouse is a notable exception, although one could argue that the coverage in the NYTimes, the New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, and LA Times didn't hurt].

The bottom line is that as much as we hate the evil aspects of the recording industry, we mustn't discount the actual good it produces, both socially and economically. If P2P is really going to succeed in moving music forward to the next era, it's going to have to find substitutes for these benefits that the RIAA currently provides. If we are unable to bridge this gap, I fear losing the record labels will, in fact, hurt artists and music lovers.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Use


COMMENTS

1. Hunter McDaniel on May 14, 2004 3:06 PM writes...

Why do we need anyone to "market an unknown band on its own to the same scale that the RIAA can". If you are just saying that bands and audiences have to be able to find each other, ok. But as long as people want to find music they like and as long as bands can profit from being widely heard, someone will find a way to match them up and do so at a profit. I don't think this is something "P2P" needs to worry about. What the RIAA does specifically is make a few bands very rich and famous; there's nothing wrong with that but it isn't a model that needs to be preserved per se.

I found this blog by reputation and referral from other blogs I trust. I'm sure I'll be able to find music the same way.

Permalink to Comment

2. cypherpunk on May 14, 2004 10:33 PM writes...

I'm not that knowledgeable about the music business. But it always seems to me that these discussions dance around the main issue. That issue is commercial radio.

Radio is still the main outlet for advertising new music. And it is one where the RIAA still seems to be an effective gatekeeper. As I said, I don't know all the reasons for this, but I've heard that there are still bribes and payments under the table to the radio stations in order to get certain bands played. This is the area where it seems that the RIAA's stranglehold is going to keep them around as a power player for some time.

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