Latest Business Model For Record Labels: Get Paid For Giving Consumers Rights They Already Have

from the go-away dept

There’s been all sorts of talk in the press lately about the future of the music business, stemming from the big MIDEM conference in France. The big talk seems to be about how labels are “reconsidering” or “rethinking” their use of DRM, but apart from some very limited experiments, it really doesn’t look like much is happening, and certainly not to the degree that some stories would lead readers to believe. Another story today talks up the idea of a “global license fee”, which ISPs would pay to record labels — for some unclear reason. The IHT says that by paying the fee, consumers “could get the right to copy the music we own digitally and move it among our various music players”, but that’s something fair use already allows, and it doesn’t spell out any other benefits for consumers, or anybody other than the labels for the fee, and points to Microsoft’s deal to give Universal a cut from Zune sales as one model. As we pointed out when that deal was announced, there’s no indication of exactly why Microsoft should pay up, and what it (or indeed its customers) get in return. Sense a pattern here? Faced with falling sales, it sounds like the record labels are trying to develop a new revenue stream by getting paid for no good reason. Of course, to them, fair use doesn’t exist, so they act like allowing consumers to have it is something worth paying for — much how similar copyright levies in Europe must be paid to cover copying that’s already legal. If the labels want to institute a global license fee, and in exchange, allow file-sharing, perhaps that’s worth talking about. But instituting the license fee and not giving anything in return just sounds like a new wrinkle on the “get people to pay for the same stuff over and over” business model big content loves.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Latest Business Model For Record Labels: Get Paid For Giving Consumers Rights They Already Have”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Andrew says:

Why even bother making music?

If you’ve listened to the radio any time within the last, say, 7 years (and probably further back than that) you’ll probably agree that the labels aren’t very good at making music anymore.

But they’ve proven to be very adept at suing people, so why don’t they just stop producing “music” and start suing full-time? $150,000 per work is much better than the 60-70 cents per track from Apple — talk about “maximizing shareholder value” and “ensuring artists are fairly compensated.”

In fact I think I’m going to patent/trademark/copyright/get a papal blessing for that business model.

justajester says:

Mega Music

As big becomes bigger, expect more of the same. Since buying my first LP, quite some time ago, it became very obvious that in most instances, you bought two or three good tracks, and nine tracks of crap. The only thing that time has changed is that the crap is crappier, and there is one less good track.

Maybe one day the artists will begin to understand that it is not the consumers that screw them, but the mega labels. A site that allows the artist to sell digital copies of their music, without restriction, would be a fine first step. The artists would be compensated for their works, and the record labels would be where they belong, out of business.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...