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January 4, 2005
Grey Album Named Best of 2004
Fred von Lohmann @ Deep Links, on Entertainment Weekly's choice for Album of the Year -- The Grey Album: "The Grey Album phenomenon will be remembered as a watershed moment for the music industry, putting the lie to all the industry wags who defend the old distribution mechanisms with the tired claim that 'no artist has ever broken out through P2P.'"
Update: More thoughts on the Grey Album "phenomenon," from none other than former Napster CEO Hank Barry:
I had a chance to spend time with Danger Mouse. He is a soft-spoken, thoughtful person. He found some sound recordings from one artist and some from another, and saw a relationship. He had a program called Acid (owned by Sony incidentally) and he used Acid to mash-up these existing recordings to make a new work. Should he be prohibited from doing it? Should he be able to make money from it? Should Sony be liable for providing the tool?
All of these questions are a result of the "permission culture" that Prof. Lessig has described so well. We should be talking about ways to reform that, by having some minimal requirements for initial and continued protection of works and inventions.
One more thing about "control." We need to remind ourselves constantly that the justification for the monopoly grant we give in patents and copyrights is the greater public good -- economic and social, not the moral or personal right of the inventor or author.
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