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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.

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December 2, 2005

Fall of the House of Cards?

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

A reader pointed me to a Businessweek Online piece on Sony's spyware fiasco. This brief piece contains one new tidbit, but it's crucial. According to Lorraine Woellert's story the artists themselves are finally starting to get up in arms. About bleeping time.

In my more fanboy moments, I hang out with writers (books) and artists (sculptors, photographers, musicians). For the most part they've bought into the Cartel's propaganda. They're worried about "piracy" and someone "stealing" their work. I don't have many big-name creative friends, so most of the folk I talk to are sensitive to even a small loss of income when they make very little to start with. They tend to believe that DRM is a good thing and that it'll somehow help them get paid more or better.

What we now see is that the exact opposite is true. Musicians and their managers, according to Wollert, are starting to realize that DRM is preventing sales. Bad publicity is the kiss of death and it's really unclear whether any Sony artists are going to escape at least some level of contamination. That translates to lost sales, often dramatically lost (50% drop in one week - ugh).

If the creative corp finally get it through their heads that the Cartel's DRM strategies are only there to fatten executive wallets then we might actually see a kind of revolution from within. As Wendy noted a couple weeks back, the frog may well jump out of the pot.

I also have to hope that The Association of American Publishers will catch on to this. Although the current fiasco is over music disks, there's a very direct and very short line between the meme "don't use DRM to screw up fans' experience of artists' music" and the meme "don't use mistaken interpretations of copyright law to stifle readers' desire to find books."

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Markets and Monopolies


COMMENTS

1. Tom Poe on December 2, 2005 11:28 AM writes...

I hope you hope that every community in America, and around the world, discovers community wireless networks, and you and your friends move onto such networks, leaving the Cartel's propaganda efforts to scream in a vacuum.

Any artist, author, musician that doesn't recognize the empowerment of working within a community broadband network, needs to do just that. No middlemen, just the artist and the audience, and electronic flyers, brochures, samples, and most important, direct interaction.

Permalink to Comment

2. sendert on December 3, 2005 1:03 PM writes...

Maybe the other artists can look at the example of the Greatful Dead to see thier future. The Dead didn't understand that there is a very large online community of fans. Recently, they asked archive.org to take down thier fan's live show recordings that had been there. The result, so far, is nearly 7,000 signitures of a boycott petition and extreme anger at the betrayal of thier fans.

The group has ask archive.org to put some of the recordings back, but the damage is done. Many fans will never be able to give money to this group without the sense of sadness that comes when your hero lets you down.

This saga is still unfloding...

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