Please allow me to add the following (in bold) to my last paragraph. I thought it was implied in the first place...
I appreciate that bit-torrent is a viable way to distribute all sorts of legal content and I understand that there's a trade-off, but the truth is that the vast majority of torrents are distributing copyright content (without the permission of the copyright holder), so as I said before, I think the trade-off is worthwhile.
I think that there's a certain amount of tact that can be exercised with it, and in this case, it's appropriate to do so...
Google's auto-suggest algorithm presumably works by looking at the most commonly searched-for combinations of words, and obviously lots of people download torrents of copyright works, but to suggest "torrent" in the auto-suggest box is a bit like rubbing it in the faces of people that are looking for that content legally. It officially states that more people are looking for the thing for free, than are paying for it, and psychologically, that encourages some people to do what everyone else is doing. Some people may not have even considered not paying for it until they see "torrent" in the auto-suggest.
I appreciate that bit-torrent is a viable way to distribute all sorts of legal content and I understand that there's a trade-off, but the truth is that the vast majority of torrents are distributing copyright content, so as I said before, I think the trade-off is worthwhile.
heh =] No, I've been reading this blog for a while.
I agree that all the things you mention are good and decent ways to do business for a record label. I don't know if there's any evidence to suggest that the majors would generate more revenue by going those routes though.
Charging millions to license their catalogs, filling mass lawsuits against downloaders, negotiating shares in companies like spotify (now being valued in the billions), huge efforts in exploiting their catalogs, creative accounting and 360 deals with artists, skewed deals with collection agencies - etc etc
These guys are in the business of making money and they aren't stupid. If they thought that being nicer to pirates and lowering their prices to what people are willing to pay was a viable alternative, they would be all over it.
The digital market doing well is not the same as people buying music. The *overwhelming* majority of people I know have never bought an MP3, but they have bought CDs. However, almost everyone I know is now using Spotify.
It's a mistake in my opinion to think that big companies "hate" with "passion" - there's only one driving force - $$$$$$.
....as Spotify continues to grow they will find themselves in a stronger and stronger position to re-negotiate the terms.
I don't think you can blame Spotify for getting into bed with the majors and I don't think you can blame the majors for negotiating the best terms they could get. It is what it is.
Also, unrelated, I think it's misleading to say that because copyright is an exclusive right, that it creates a monopoly. The majors don't have a monopoly on releasing music. They have the exclusive right to license their music but that's a completely different thing to an economic monopoly.