BPI Admits It Screwed Up Over Napster... But Why Should We Trust It Now?

from the leaves-that-part-out dept

It seems like it's become the "in thing" in the recording industry these days to "admit" that suing Napster, rather than working out a deal, was a "mistake" ten years ago. Of course, plenty of folks were telling them this at the time, but we were brushed aside as wackos who just wanted free stuff. The latest to make this claim is BPI's Geoff Taylor, who says he "regrets" that the industry didn't move faster to embrace online music. But, of course, Taylor and others still don't get it. They still want ISPs to police users. They still claim that piracy is a legal problem, and they still seem to get the facts wrong. Taylor claims: "There is simply no getting around the fact that billions of illegal free downloads of music every year in the UK mean that significantly less money is coming into the music ecosystem."

Except... that's not true at all. As a recent Harvard study showed, the amount of money going into the "music ecosystem" has grown -- tremendously. The only thing that's dropping is the sale of plastic discs.

In the meantime, considering BPI and others were so incredibly wrong 10 years ago, and they're only willing to admit it now, why is it that they think everyone should trust them now -- and that those of us who were actually right 10 years ago should still be brushed off as wackos who just want stuff for free? Perhaps it's time to start actually listening to those who have been pointing out new ways to embrace what consumers want to do with music in order to make more money. Otherwise, we'll be seeing the same thing in another 10 years, about how BPI's Geoff Taylor (or whoever replaces him) made a mistake trying to shut down The Pirate Bay.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:38pm

    "we'll be seeing the same thing in another 10 years, about how BPI's Geoff Taylor (or whoever replaces him) made a mistake trying to shut down The Pirate Bay."

    Not really, this is a very different animal now.

    napster indicated the public's willingness to get their music online. It indicated that demand existed, a real business model to sell music. The record industry as a whole missed it.

    TPB? They indicate the public's willingness to steal anything that isn't nailed down properly. it is very hard to convince people use to getting something for nothing (and more of it every day) to suddenly start paying again.

    Napster was an idea. It showed people music could be digital.

    TPB has ingrained the idea that music has no cost into everyone mind, and as that goes along, they are also managing to snap the elastic to show that music also has little value.

     

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      TPBer, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

      Re:

      :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)


      "Sharing is Caring", don't know what stealing you are talking about. See you in ten.

       

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      Brian (profile), Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:51pm

      Re:

      "TPB? They indicate the public's willingness to steal anything that isn't nailed down properly." Here you go: Wikipedia: Straw Man.

       

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      Fiercedeity (profile), Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

      Re:

      "it is very hard to convince people use to getting something for nothing (and more of it every day) to suddenly start paying again."

      Yeah, tell that to Apple.

       

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      Designerfx (profile), Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:33pm

      Re:

      Please. I'll bet my entire net worth (future and current) that the same situation will occur. Look at the net. People are still demonizing the internet and it's been what, 30 years now?

      Music will take 30-50 years for the execs to embrace 100%. That or 6 months after bankruptcy.

      I'd love to see these comments non-anonymous, but I guess some people aren't willing to step up huh? Paid shills suckle their cash teats some more, no doubt.

      Oh and napster? Please. There were lots of other services around at the same time. Napster was just one that hit it big. I remember an AIM version, kazaa, dc++, morpheus, grokster, edonkey. This stuff isn't going away.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 30th, 2009 @ 6:37am

      Re:

      "TPB? They indicate the public's willingness to steal anything that isn't nailed down properly"

      Its infringe not steal.... ie infringe on copyright

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    The job of the music industry is to make and distribute music. If they deviate from that job by fucking with customers they should be taken down. Hard!

    http://www.boycott-riaa.com/myactions

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Napster was designed for the sole purpose of music sharing.

    BitTorrent was designed for the sole purpose of file sharing.

    How can you state that BitTorrent is worse than Napster? It isn't worse as its designed intent is completely different from Napster and isn't as user-friendly.

    Thus, Napster truly was to "indicate the public's willingness to steal anything that isn't nailed down properly. it is very hard to convince people use to getting something for nothing (and more of it every day) to suddenly start paying again"

    BitTorrent is designed for general purpose file sharing of generally large files distributed into small pieces over numerous nodes.

    If you're talking about missed opportunities then both are missed opportunites. Both present new technologies and business models that many industries fail to utilize and ignorantly scold.

     

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    RD, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:15pm

    Oh here we go...

    "it is very hard to convince people use to getting something for nothing (and more of it every day) to suddenly start paying again."

    And ignorant moron award of the day goes TO.....

    I guess iTunes doesnt exist and cant work....someone better tell Apple, they have made a HUGE mistake!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

      Re: Oh here we go...

      Earth to RD: How many songs does Itunes sell versus how many are stolen / borrowed / infringed each day? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1?

      People still buy the dreaded shiny discs and read newspapers. From what I read around here, those are dying businesses too.

       

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        Fiercedeity (profile), Jun 30th, 2009 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re: Oh here we go...

        You prove the point perfectly. The point is that Apple is making bank on iTunes. Through a combination of iPod and iTunes, Apple is making TONS of money. Now if the labels had taken advantage of the consumer needs first, they could be in the same position on probably a larger scale. Likely they would have done this by partnering with a hardware vendor. So, in addition to the shrinking CD sales they get now, they would ALSO be making pure profit (no distribution costs after all) off of iTunes and iPod (or whatever their equivalent would be had they jumped on this).

         

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    Jane Doe, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    I recently unearthed a treasure from another life, a custom CD purchased online in 1999 from a company called MusicMaker. The artist choices were limited, apparently because of the head-up-the-ass tunnel vision of the major music companies, but I was still able to choose a decent mix of songs. Within a few days, I received my custom music CD in the mail. The only reason I never placed another order with them was because there simply wasn't a large enough selection of music that I wanted to buy.

    It's too bad that this company - and others like them - weren't held up as a positive example, their distribution model for music delivery refined and respected by the major head-up-the-ass music companies. MusicMaker went out of business around 2001, lauded as an ambitious but late-blooming idea.

    The music industry goon squads - the RIAA and the BPI - have lost the war. My friends' kids, thirteen, eighteen and twenty-one years old, have never owned a music CD. Nor have they ever paid for any music they've downloaded over the years.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:14pm

      Re:

      "The music industry goon squads - the RIAA and the BPI - have lost the war. My friends' kids, thirteen, eighteen and twenty-one years old, have never owned a music CD. Nor have they ever paid for any music they've downloaded over the years."

      ...and at that rate, can you really see any more music being made at the level they are use to?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2009 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, but it won't be funded by selling copies of the recording.

         

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        Fiercedeity (profile), Jun 30th, 2009 @ 10:30am

        Re: Re:

        It hasn't slowed down yet. Over the past several years, not only has the quantity of music being made available increased, but the average quality of music has increased as well. And all signs so far point to this trend continuing.

         

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    RD, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 4:44pm

    Oh here we go...

    "Earth to RD: How many songs does Itunes sell versus how many are stolen / borrowed / infringed each day? 100 to 1? 1000 to 1?"

    Earth to retard: The world was like this BEFORE iTunes. iTunes has sold billions of songs. iTunes has made (at LEAST) $10 billion in sales since inception, thats at the SAME TIME as all this file sharing going on. The ratio will ALWAYS BE in favor of the sharers, it always HAS been. The fact that serious money can be made in SPITE of that is where people should be focusing their efforts.

    The Dark Knight was heavily shared, and it is the 2nd highest grossing movie of all time.

    Wolverine was leaked WEEKS BEFORE the release, and it made $200 million.

    Its not how many are sharing, its how many are paying, and why.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:13pm

      Re: Oh here we go...

      "Wolverine was leaked WEEKS BEFORE the release, and it made $200 million."

      Always nice you slide to name calling within seconds.

      Wolverine, let's see - "leaked" with all the visual effects missing and potential with some scenes missing, not a complete product. Also "leaked" isn't the correct word, more like stolen from the studio and dumped on the net.

      Not quite the same thing, now is it?

      Oh wait... maybe it is in your fantasy world.

       

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        Fiercedeity (profile), Jun 30th, 2009 @ 10:34am

        Re: Re: Oh here we go...

        I don't see how whether it was complete or not proves your point. In fact, I'm not quite sure what your point is at all. You didn't even address the valid points in the post you are replying to.

         

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    Tristin (profile), Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Between the Lines

    Ahhh....where would these comments be without an Anonymous Coward ignoramus to provide us with target practice? It's too easy though, so on to another thought.

    Reading between the lines of Taylor's statement that he regrets the music industry's reluctance to embrace Napster, I think what he meant was, "We should have bought Napster out immediately and turned it into an online storefront with the same prices we charge in brick and mortar stores." His regret isn't that they took down Napster, but that they turned themselves into the enemy while doing so. They should have played like they were excited about Napster and slowly inoculated it to preserve their margins.

    The industry's dumbest move was making the internet a weapon of the people rather than a tool for maintaining the status quo. As soon as the issue was framed as the internet vs. the RIAA, the game was over for them.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:28pm

    "Always nice you slide to name calling within seconds."

    He has to call you a name, as you won't tell him your real one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:35pm

    It's nice to see AC instigating fights. Let's see what he's done so far in this thread:

    1.) Made a hidden attempt at an insult with "Earth to ... "
    2.) Complain about name calling within seconds when a response of "Earth to retard" was provided to a unnecessary comment of your of "Earth to ... "
    3.) Constantly attempting to instigate a flame in this topic.
    4.) Unnacceptive of different perspectives.
    5.) Finding a need to provide a response to every response. Your sarcasm fails to be impressive.

    AC, here's some advice, especially if you're a lawyer or a manager, do something more productive with your time. You're posting on a board with a totally different viewpoint and looking to instigate a flame war.

    Furthermore, you're suggesting that sharing music is bad. Therefore, me sharing my music CD's is bad based on your definition. Seriously, find something else to do or write more compelling arguments that look less like lame attempts at sarcasm or instigating flames.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:35pm

    It's nice to see AC instigating fights. Let's see what he's done so far in this thread:

    1.) Made a hidden attempt at an insult with "Earth to ... "
    2.) Complain about name calling within seconds when a response of "Earth to retard" was provided to a unnecessary comment of your of "Earth to ... "
    3.) Constantly attempting to instigate a flame in this topic.
    4.) Unnacceptive of different perspectives.
    5.) Finding a need to provide a response to every response. Your sarcasm fails to be impressive.

    AC, here's some advice, especially if you're a lawyer or a manager, do something more productive with your time. You're posting on a board with a totally different viewpoint and looking to instigate a flame war.

    Furthermore, you're suggesting that sharing music is bad. Therefore, me sharing my music CD's is bad based on your definition. Seriously, find something else to do or write more compelling arguments that look less like lame attempts at sarcasm or instigating flames.

     

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    CleverName, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 5:57pm

    It is 20 / 20 hindsight

    because they've got their head up their ass

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    Until Copyright is no longer a method used to economically exploit people, it will only be used as a tool to economically exploit people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Is it too late to start a revolution? Are they counting on us techies to be too fat and lazy to leave the basement and do something about our rights being trampled? Would they be wrong?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2009 @ 6:54am

    Too little too late, Geoff.

    Rest in peace, music industry.

     

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    aikanae, Jul 3rd, 2009 @ 3:15am

    Same ol' _ _ _ _

    Stealing v. paying? NIN released their album online and still went on to be Amazon's best selling CD. Stealing's a busted concept. Google the "sampling effect". Most music sold in the US is no longer represented by RIAA, whether the RIAA pays them or not. People buy what they like after hearing it. More people are making money in the music industry than ever before - it's just not the drivel RIAA produces.

    And that's the great tragedy of TPB going down. Ever want to hear something that was never released for sale on CD? A movie only made for another region? A 4 year old piece of software that's no longer available?

    The copyright battle is about control over the marketplace and limiting competition. People just don't buy $300 mp3 players if they aren't willing to spend money on music. It was RIAA member's choice to prevent CD's they sold from being used where customers wanted (rootkits).

    It's too little, too late.

     

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