Here's one for the "sky is falling" folks, who insist the music industry is dying. Orin Kerr, at the Volokh Conspiracy points us to an episode of the TV magazine show 20/20 all about how the music industry is in trouble... way back in 1980. What's amusing is that the story is the same. Early on, you see Joe Smith, the President of Elektra-Asylum records making a statement that might sound familiar:
"Records, you don't have to buy to hear music. There's sensational equipment out there. There's great FM radio. There's enormous amounts of music out there, without having to buy a record. Counterfeiting, home-taping, and the failure of major artists to deliver records on some kind of regular basis."
It's really funny to watch. After complaining about companies shutting down, layoffs and fights against counterfeiters, the report points out that the industry is betting on video laser discs to bring back the profits.
Now, that's only the first half of the report. I had actually opened both videos up a while ago and had them both open in browser windows, but just as I was writing up this post, I hit reload on the videos... and the second one is now being blocked due to a copyright claim from Universal Music. This is bizarre, for a variety of reasons. First, the video was definitely up and working just last week... and this is a video that was uploaded in 2006. So... um... how come, in the last week, Universal suddenly decided to block what's clearly fair use of the video? Could it be that Universal Music doesn't want you seeing a report that shows how it has overreacted historically to changes in the industry? Hopefully, the guy who uploaded it will file a counternotice...