Saturday, March 05, 2005

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Music industry 'nails UK pirates'

So the music industry 'nails UK pirates'. In other news, record companies are arguing for the prices of downloads on, eg, iTunes to rise - at the same time that they're being investigated for inflating UK download costs relative to toher parts of Europe and the US.

The record industry has got it all wrong. They're using outdated paradigms. They are focused on ownership, profits and litigation that protects their 'property'.

Clearly artists need remuneration for their work. But can I suggest three things:

Instead of 'piracy', peer-to-peer downloading is actually 'radio on demand'. If you're interested in a band, you can see what other people are listening to, download a few tracks, see if you like them. If you do, you'll maybe buy an album. You'll talk about them. You'll get the DVD. You'll buy the next album, etc. It's free, word-of-mouth style publicity.

Reduce the prices to the threshold that makes peer-to-peer not worth it any more - especially if you're a parent. Why bother with broken downloads, porn links, corrupt copies, the wrong songs, etc, when a perfect quality, reliable, redownloadable iTunes copy is only, eg, 20p?

At the very least, since the internet is a worldwide phenomenon, the industry needs to settle on worldwide standards if they're going to 'beat' what they call 'piracy'. Proper international competition. (Even 10p a track is better than 'stealing', surely.) Compatibility between platforms. (Why pay for an iTunes download when I can't play the track on my MP3 stick? Why pay for a wma when it won't go on my iPod? I'll download an MP3 thanks, and it'll be free, even though I was willing to pay.)

At least having failed to post for a month, I'm back with a proper rant. :)

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