Upstart Labels See File Sharing As Ally, Not Foe

from the aha!--someone-is-getting-it... dept

It’s become quite clear that the old music industry is dying a slow, painful – though extremely loud and annoying – death. However, that doesn’t mean music or even the music business is dying. We’ve always said that if the established industry can’t get their act together and figure out a way to embrace file sharing, others would come along and do it for them. It appears that’s starting. The NY Times has an article about how independent labels are learning to embrace file sharing – to the point that some say it’s kept them in business. Since, as independent labels, they can’t get their bands much airtime on the radio, they realize that file sharing is the “new” radio – and by promoting their artists on things like Kazaa they’re actually increasing sales of their CDs. In fact, independent labels have started taking market share away from the big five labels – and many of them credit file sharing. They even quote Chris Blackwell, a man who has been in music business for years and years (and very early in his career produced some of my personal favorite music) saying that people who file share are “grass roots promoters whose efforts eventually increase sales.”

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Comments on “Upstart Labels See File Sharing As Ally, Not Foe”

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Beck says:

RIAA Doesn't Differentiate in Their Warnings

If the RIAA continues to file lawsuits against music traders I think this could quash the business model of these independent labels. People will be so afraid of getting sued that they won’t trade any files, even the music of bands and labels that WANT it to be traded as a promotional device. How can I tell if any particular file is allowed to be shared before I download it or make it available to others via Kazaa?

The previous Techdirt post (“File Sharing Isn’t Going Away”) includes a link to a Parent’s Guide that says: “Downloading music online is generally illegal. …the best advice is to buy music you download… The parent’s guide then points them to music download sites where you pay for the music. The recommended download sites are controlled by the RIAA and therefore won’t include music from the independent labels.

The guide makes it seem clear-cut black and white that music sharing is illegal. I wonder if one of these independent labels that wants their music to be shared has a legal case against the RIAA for overstepping their bounds and trying to stop all file sharing?

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