The Music Industry is Stupid

Yeah, I know. Kind of blunt instrument, that title. Sometimes, though, you want to call a spade a spade.

The music industry, fresh from their legal victory over Napster (although, true to copyright tradition, they settled out of court rather than wait for an actual finding), have decided to offer their own alternative to peer-to-peer file-sharing programs..

Logically, you would think that they would put all of their music on one site and allow people to sign up, and pay, so they could download the music they wanted when they wanted. You would think that they would be sensitive to the persistent charges that they rip off artists by making sure that everyone knew that they were paying the artists a fair share of these fees. See? It’s not about us. It’s about making sure the artist gets paid…..

You would think that. Well, maybe you wouldn’t.

The Dixie Chicks and many other performers are hopping mad. Seems that, firstly, the music industry isn’t asking permission of the artists to put their music up on the web site. They are acting as if that permission is already included in all the other egregious rights that they have extorted out of their artists. We’ll see you in court. (They now specifically include these rights in new contracts young, na├»ve artists are forced to sign if want industry support. If they had to add this clause, they obviously didn’t really think it was implied in their existing contracts, did they?).

Secondly, it turns out that the artists will be getting a mere fraction of a cent for every download. A big fat nothing. The music industry claims that it is just SO EXPENSIVE to distribute music over the internet. By golly, it’s so expensive that about 20 million people have been doing it for free for five years.

The music industry is also, apparently, including charges for CD covers, promotional copies, and distribution in their calculations. Of course, with downloading, there are no physical CDs, or promotional copies, or art work, or anything.

This is going to kill Morpheus? Ha ha ha.

The line-ups:

Pressplay: Universal and Sony

MusicNet: BMG, EMI, and AOL Time Warner with Real Network.

I am not sure, at the moment, if these companies will even be giving each other access to each other’s catalogues. If they don’t, they might as well fold their tents up right now. People are not going to be lining up to pay $20 a month to two or three or more different on-line services just so they can hear the music they want to hear.

The music industry is stupid. We know that. It took them years and years to respond to Napster. It will take bankruptcies and court rulings to finish the job.

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