by Carlo Longino

Has EMI Had A Change Of Heart In China?

from the if-you-can't-beat-em dept

Chinese search engine Baidu's been involved in an ongoing legal battle against major record labels, which assert its MP3 searching functionality represents copyright infringement. It's unclear why the IFPI and its members think that linking to something represents a copyright violation, and in the latest decision, the court agreed and ruled in Baidu's favor. We've long argued that the way forward for record labels isn't through the courts, but rather by accepting the inevitability of a certain level of piracy and adapting its business models to focus on something other than just selling music. With that in mind, it's a little surprising to see the record label EMI announce that it's struck a deal with Baidu to offer a free streaming channel of its music, and that it would also work with the search site to develop an ad-supported download service. EMI also says it's dropping its appeal against the latest decision for Baidu in the copyright case. It's heartening to see EMI take this step, and apparently realize that it needs to change it business, not hire better lawyers, to move ahead in China. Although it's probably unrelated, it should be noted that EMI last week fired its two top executives, following disappointing sales and, many analysts contend, the execs' inability to cope with an evolving market. Perhaps that move, along with the Baidu deal, reveals a change of tack for the company. What's still frustrating, though, is that here in the US, the RIAA and its member labels continue to rely on a courtroom- and legislative-based strategy, rather than changing their businesses to suit an evolving market -- and, of course, they continue to treat their customers like criminals.

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  • identicon
    ScytheNoire, 16 Jan 2007 @ 10:33am

    More executives need to be fired until they learn to stop fighting technology, but rather embrace it and learn to use it as a new business model.

    People don't want CD's, for the most part, the computer has become the digital hub for media content, and the industries are fighting a losing battle against that. They are trying to deny the people what they want. DRM content also isn't what people want, they want simple, easy to use, never fails, digital downloadable media content.

    Why do so many people download illegally? Because that's the way they want their content, online, easy to find, easy to acquire, and always works.
    Is it really that complicated that they haven't figured this out?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BillDivX, 16 Jan 2007 @ 11:19am

    Good first step...

    Remember...All it will take is one set of fired execs to be replaced with guys who get it. Those guys will turn the business around in short order. If only one company delivers what their consumers really want, that company will be in a new space, with no real competitors. They should do very well, at least initially, and one of two things will happen at the other labels:

    1) the cold hard financial facts of being blatantly outperformed make them finally realize their error, and they follow suit

    2) they lose all their business to the labels that did #1, and they simply go bye-bye.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The infamous Joe, 16 Jan 2007 @ 12:03pm

    If ya can't join em...

    Since I'm already being treated as a criminal, I might as well do what they accuse me of.

    That makes us even.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dosquatch, 16 Jan 2007 @ 1:04pm

    up against the law

    and, of course, they continue to treat their customers like criminals.

    The courts and legistature are both of the government. What incentive do the **AA's have NOT to treat us as criminals when those to whom they're appealing do exactly that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    misanthropic humanist, 16 Jan 2007 @ 1:39pm

    a glimmer of hope?

    I've seen a few encouraging signs lately from EMI. Sorry I can't recall anything as concrete as a link, but it does make me think they may have a progressive mind on board and are starting to break from the pack.

    Too early to say, but definitely - watch this space.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jan 2007 @ 7:19am

    RIAA ,a recording industry trade group paid for by Geffen Records, Island Records, Universal Music Group, Concord Records, EMI Recorded Music, SONY BMG, Buena Vista Music, Curb Records, RCA Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, The Atlantic Group, Koch Entertainment, Wind-up Records, Virgin Records America, Tommy Boy Records, Capitol Records

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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