And Then There Were Three: Bye, Bye EMI

from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept

The major labels have been dropping one by one. Of course, they never "die out" completely... they just get weak enough until someone buys someone else. The Big Six became the Big Five when Universal took over Polygram. The Big Five became the Big Four when Sony (formerly CBS Records) and BMG effectively merged. And, now we're down to the Big Three as Universal and Sony pick off the remains of EMI. This was pretty much a foregone conclusion that there would be some sort of merger, when Citibank took over EMI after EMI defaulted on its debt obligations. Universal is picking up the music division for $1.9 billion while Sony gets the publishing side for $2.2 billion. Universal was already the world's largest record label, so adding the likes of the Beatles, Coldplay and Katy Perry to its roster must be appealing. Of course, there's some concern among regulators that this raises antitrust questions, but I really don't see the issue here. Universal Music has been self-imploding by failing to adapt. I don't see how merging it with EMI will do much other than to allow it to continue to be a nuisance and continue to not understand how to embrace the internet. Besides, spending $1.9 billion for more back catalog, rather than investing that kind of money into actually adapting? If anything, this simply accelerates the decline of these labels.


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    The Incoherent One (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Now they can sue more people for more music.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      There's unlimited supply
      And there is no reason why
      I tell you it was all a frame
      They only did it 'cos of fame
      Who?

      E.M.I. E.M.I. E.M.I.

       

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    *pops champagne*

    I look forward to the Big Zero, coming sooner than they think!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:41am

      Re: *pops champagne*

      yee! zero! the best number in the alphabet

       

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      Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:42am

      Re: *pops champagne*

      FINISH THEM!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re: *pops champagne*

        LOL.

        You guys are idiots.

        Right now is best time to start a record label in over a decade.

        I can't wait to come back to this moronic blog a year from now when everyone is bitching about piracy enforcement.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

          You're leaving for a year??? I think one of my dreams just came true.

           

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

          You know, I really wish I knew more about you. I want to know what you have vested in this, and why you feel that giving ground on personal freedoms to support *any* business model is okay.

          I'd *really* like to know why you don't realize that when "dirty freetard pirates" lose their personal freedoms, so do you.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

            "I'd *really* like to know why you don't realize that when "dirty freetard pirates" lose their personal freedoms, so do you."

            Two options:

            1. He's paid to do this and so has a vested interest in his corporation succeeding no matter what the cost to the general public, and the figure he's paid stops him from considering that the public includes himself.

            2. He's an idiot, who hasn't taken in this basic concept despite it having been spelled out for him literally hundreds of times.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

          It's too bad that EMI died, as I would say for any business.
          I'm betting that those who got paid more money than I will see in several lifetimes had difficulty adapting to the Internet, MP3, VCR, tape deck, and the printing press.
          Also, any business that finds a way to turn fans and potential consumers in to prisoners needs to go away.

          So, too bad. I wont miss them.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

          I can't wait for inferior people like you to discover that those of us with minds far more agile than yours have been busy dealing with "piracy enforcement" and have already begun deploying the technology necessary to make it impossible.

          You just don't get it, do you? We're smarter than you. We're better than you. That's why we always win.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

            So far, I have to admit, you have not impressed me.
            Smarter, maybe, more agile? No, I don't see it.

            But on an up note, your ego is rockin' off the charts!

             

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              Gordon (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

              I would interpret the agile bit of that statement to mean the ability to move from one avenue of thought to another easily to accomplish the intended goal.
              Tech folks have been doing it for years to work around and or downright fix problems with the internet for years.

              On the other hand.....big content has only used the one method for getting what they want.....the courts and or the government, tow of the LEAST agile thinking venues on the planet.

              just sayin'

               

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            PaulT (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

            "have already begun deploying the technology necessary to make it impossible"

            I bet you actually believe that as well...

             

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              nasch (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 9:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: *pops champagne*

              "have already begun deploying the technology necessary to make it impossible"

              I bet you actually believe that as well...


              That people are working on technology that will make IP enforcement impossible? Well impossible is a strong word, but impractical at least, I would say is very likely.

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Soon there will be no point in calling them 'RIAA' anymore.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      The RIAA serves as a shield. it makes people think that its actions are that of a third party organization, and not a shadow puppet of the big labels.

      As such, even if there was only one label left, the RIAA would still exist.

       

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    John Doe, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Just another reason to rid the world of the scourge of piracy

    This just shows that SOPA/PROTECT IP/EPARASITE is needed more than ever. These labels are two big to fail and need a bailout. Since we can't give them money we can give them legislation. /sarc

     

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    Mike42 (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Mike, if you ever, EVER put Coldplay next to the BEATLES again...

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

    Hmm? Care to field that one, college boy? You're always saying the dinosaurs are dying, but where are the replacements with their wonderful "new business models"? Seems to me that IF your notions were correct, we'd see those rising and munching up the older businesses.

    But it's not inconsistent with the cartel racket that all but one front company disappear. Meantime, there are tax advantages to businesses that lose money, particularly "debt"; part of it can be scraped off to personal accounts, rest to minimize tax liability. So this isn't /necessarily/ bad for the industry as such. -- Unless you want to admit that piracy is ruining it. Then I could see your glee.

     

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      Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      you're already using it blue. You just haven't noticed

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:52am

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      but where are the replacements with their wonderful "new business models"? Seems to me that IF your notions were correct, we'd see those rising and munching up the older businesses.



      This may be well beyond your inferior and pitifully inadquate mind, but even you ought to realize that the entire concept of a "record label" is completely obsolete.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:57am

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      There old giant dinosaurs arnt being replaced by new giant corporations because their isnt room for massive middlemen in the industry anymore. Instead of 1 company replacing EMI you have 100 hundreds of small indies and musicians self-publishing. Small companies can adapt and adjust faster and are more likely to succeed, in twenty years we will probably see a few of the small players today have turned into massive companies that will fight tooth and nail to block whatever new innovation comes out then.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      Add College Boys to the list of things that out_of_the_blue hates, together with The Rich and Google.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

        Re: Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

        If you couldn't tell, he is afraid and enraged by intelligence.

         

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          Ilfar, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

          Ahh, the reference to college boys threw me on that bit. Most college boys I've met haven't been too forthcoming in the intelligence department ;)

           

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      Michael, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      Simple. There is no longer need for these companies. There will be no "new" useless middle men. They are obsolete. More money for the artists. The only ones actually putting in the work.

       

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      Idiot eater, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      Excuse me idiot boy....but, um, the new models are TuneCore for artists currently, and in a minute iTunes and Spotify....how far away from going direct do you suppose artists are? So before you clown someone else, you might want to make sure you aren't actually the clown. The labels have been dinosaurs for many years and will be obsolete except for their financial functions in a short NY minute....and then there were 3....

       

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      IronM@sk, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      Umm... The dinosaurs didn't get replaced by more dinosaurs. They were succeeded by smaller, more agile creatures who were able to adapt...

      You fail on so many levels it's hard to believe you have the required motor-neurone skills available to type this stuff.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 12:08am

      Re: Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?

      "Why aren't /new/ labels emerging and becoming "big"?"

      1. Because the big labels control a great many of the retail outlets and promotional outlets.

      2. Because they cater to real musicians and not fame whores, and thus create actual music rather than karaoke contests and cover versions.

      3. Because you're so plugged into the big labels, you're ignorant of new bands emerging from independents, and are probably ignorant of the fact that many bands you know of were independents from the start and assume that if you know them, they must be on a major.

       

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    ELeeMacFall, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Good riddance

    I wish the remaining three a short life and a sudden death.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Four major labels, complaining about free,
    One defaults on debt, and then there were three.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    the homogenization of everything and it will ultimately lead to emptiness. - Damon Albarn

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    This means the bulk of 20th century music will be owned by three companies for as long as their copyrights last (well past my lifetime at least). Unfortunately it looks like the best we can hope for is that the future of music largely bypasses their influence and their power will slowly diminish along with the relevance of their catalog.

     

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      nasch (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 9:49pm

      Re:

      This means the bulk of 20th century music will be owned by three companies for as long as their copyrights last (well past my lifetime at least).

      You know what depressing thought I recently had? I will be dead before anyone can legally make a better version of the Star Wars prequels.

       

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    Concerned Consumer, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    What about their stake holders

    First, I do not work for the labels, I do not work in entertainment, nor am I a lawyer.

    The stake holders in these media companies are suffering economic loss because of the proliferation of wide spread piracy. These labels invested heavily in recruiting talent and molding that talent into a marketable act. So when the labels cease to exist who will promote the artists, who will connect them with producers, who will hook them up with image consultants, who will "launch" their career?

    Universal isn't unwilling to "adapt", they are however unwilling to sit idly by while their catalog of music is illegally taken. Your idea of adaptation is to give the music away for free, but how is the rights holder, in this case the label, supposed to get money for the music they OWN? You have discussed how artists can make money by giving away music, but what you haven't discussed is how the rights holder can make money by giving away music. If you can create a compelling case study that shows how a rights holder can generate similar revenue by giving away the only thing it owns (the music itself) - please do so. I am sure the entire recording industry would be interested in seeing it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      I own all the classical music ever made and would also like to know how I make money of off music that belongs to everyone.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 12:29am

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        You don't.

        But, I'll assume that you're referring to the likes of Beethoven. Nobody's stopping you from releasing your own edition of any of his music, and if it's good enough you'll get paid. There are millions of classical fans who will buy the same piece over and over if the orchestra playing it is good enough or have an interesting take on it.

        Public domain doesn't mean you can't make money. It just means you don't own the monopoly.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      So when the labels cease to exist who will promote the artists, who will connect them with producers, who will hook them up with image consultants, who will "launch" their career?

      Apparently you've missed the last couple of decades. I'm glad that you finally regained consciousness, and hope that you can adjust to life in 2011 as soon as possible. Meanwhile, while you were out, those of us with superior minds invented this thing called "the Internet", which, as it turns out, is the most wonderful promotion tool that any musician could possibly imagine. Some of them have figured that out and are well on their way to successful careers -- WITHOUT record labels, promoters, image consultants, or any of the other bloodsucking middlemen.

      By the way, the Don Johnson look? Ummm...not so much anymore, really. You might still be able to get away with those pastels in Miami, but Detroit? I doubt it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/fashion/a-200000-a-night-dj-known-as-kaskade-is-really-ryan-raddon -a-mormon.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

        In a testament to their commanding new reach, D.J.’s like Kaskade can earn $200,000 or more for a single night, according to handlers and public records. “In the late ’90s and early 2000s, there was an initial explosion of E.D.M. for a quick second,” said Joel Zimmerman, who created William Morris Endeavor’s electronic-music division in 2008 and works with artists like Kaskade, Deadmau5 and Afrojack. “The thing that really flipped the script was social media. You had kids getting connected in a different way.”

        A musician making $200,000 for a night's worth of work? I wish I were struggling that much.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        Please mention of artists that I might have heard of that have self-released. I am curious how well known these artist are. Since you say the internet is the "most wonderful promotion tool that any musician could possibly imagine", I would imagine that every huge mega star must be self-releasing now.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Sorry troll, only one to a customer today.

           

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            Concerned Consumer, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

            It is really that hard to come up with someone who is universally known that has achieved their stardom without the assistance of a music label, isn't it?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              Well, while I would hesitate to call him an artist, my understanding is that Justin Bieber launched his own career, and got picked up by the labels due to his popularity.
              It has been commented on here recently, that technically (actually) what he did was infringing and if some of the new laws currently being proposed were in force when he was attempting to launch his career, he wouldn't have one and the record label that signed him wouldn't be making the money they currently make from his hard work.

              But as far as artists you might have heard of?
              There are many artists on many labels today, that are wildly popular that I have never heard of, that is ignorance of mine just as your lack of knowledge of artists who are making money without labels is yours.

               

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                btrussell (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

                "Well, while I would hesitate to call him an artist, my understanding is that Justin Bieber launched his own career, and got picked up by the labels due to his popularity."

                You got it Pontiac!

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              That is because artist who self publish don't sell out to record labels and don't want to be pressed into the record label mold. Self published artist want to retain control over their music, image and marketing and make a living doing what they love. They don't want to sell their music to everyone, they want to sell their music to their fans.

              I could name a few self published artists that I enjoy, including Deadmau5. If you can't name a self published artist that you enjoy, you are looking in the wrong place.

              Success is not selling millions of molded albums. Success is not making other people rich. Success is not being known to every person in the world. Success is making a comfortable living doing what you love.

               

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              harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              arnel pineda

               

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              "achieved their stardom"

              Sorry dude, we're talking musicians, not fame whores. Watch the X Factor if you want crappy singers who want stardom, we'll stick to people who make actual music.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Ok Go kicked the labels to the curb and do their own thing through their own front, Paracadute. This is a band that gets it. EMI was holding them back as they wanted to promote themselves using modern tools and not your gandpa's method.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

            Nobody listen's to okgo's music.

            They're video artists.

             

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              Yeah, I love this game. You ask for examples, then you reject them on random terms because you don't want to address reality or accept that non-major label artists enjoy success as well.

              It is getting a little tiresome, though. Why not try facts or intelligent conversation instead?

               

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          That's the thing: the concept of "famous musician" is changing as well. When the RIAA members controlled the music industry, they controlled who got to appear on radio and television as well. They controlled fame. They created famous musicians.

          Today the idea of one song or one musician that everybody knows is going away. People just listen to the music they like, and they're listening to a wider variety of styles and genres than the big labels ever promoted.

          So while it's true that all the "famous" artists now self-releasing were once on major labels: Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, OK Go, They Might Be Giants, etc. there are dozens of others that aren't "famous" but still have an audience and can still reach fans that wouldn't have been available to them 20 years ago.

          i.e. instead of 10 famous musicians, we now have 100 working musicians. You just won't hear about them on the radio or television. You, the listener, have to decide what you like and go out and find it.

           

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          VMax, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          So, the system only works if it makes Mega-Stars? What happened to the idea of making a decent living doing the work you do best? The concept that someone needs to get wildly rich licensing sounds and words seems pretty ridiculous to me.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

            "What happened to the idea of making a decent living doing the work you do best?"

            Major labels discovered boy bands and karaoke contests, realised they didn't have to spend money on actual A&R, and decided they were better off manufacturing bands rather than acquiring real artists.

             

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      The stake holders in these media companies are suffering economic loss because of the proliferation of wide spread piracy.

      You're assuming the problem is "piracy" rather than market shifts.

      These labels invested heavily in recruiting talent and molding that talent into a marketable act. So when the labels cease to exist who will promote the artists, who will connect them with producers, who will hook them up with image consultants, who will "launch" their career?

      None of those roles go away. Not sure what you're getting at.

      Universal isn't unwilling to "adapt",

      see quotes from Doug Morris, former CEO of Universal, now CEO of Sony admitting exactly the opposite.

      Your idea of adaptation is to give the music away for free, but how is the rights holder, in this case the label, supposed to get money for the music they OWN? You have discussed how artists can make money by giving away music, but what you haven't discussed is how the rights holder can make money by giving away music. If you can create a compelling case study that shows how a rights holder can generate similar revenue by giving away the only thing it owns (the music itself) - please do so. I am sure the entire recording industry would be interested in seeing it.

      Perhaps the problem is the structure itself. Why separate out that one artificial piece? That's why these guys are in trouble. They're focused on the one piece of the puzzle that isn't needed. They get paid for packaging and distribution, but those things are cheap to free now. The promotions/a&r/support, etc. can come from many sources these days, especially with the internet making it much easier.

      The problem is that we shouldn't be focused on saving a piece of the industry that isn't necessary. We should be focused on having the entire industry adapt. And it is. More music than ever before being produced. More money being spent in the music ecosystem than ever before. The music industry is thriving. The piece trying to sell something obsolete is not.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        "You're assuming the problem is "piracy" rather than market shifts."

        Im not "assuming" anything. You would have to be profoundly obtuse and myopic to lack the reasoning ability or perception power to comprehend the impact that literally hundreds of billions of instances of piracy have had on content creators. The population is consuming more media than ever before, their appetite is insatiable. And the consumption of pirated content by people who either do not realize their actions are illegal or choose to pirate content knowingly is a big problem for the rights holders and their stake holders.

        "They get paid for packaging and distribution, but those things are cheap to free now." They get repaid for all of the money they fronted the artists, voice lessons, imaging, production, promotion, dance lessons, etc... The biggest acts in the business exist because the labels created them. Artists love the labels until they become famous and then they hate them.

        Please tell me someone I would recognize that became famous without a record label.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          The transitional periods are always the hardest.

           

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Didn't that Justin Bieber girl become famous via youtube, and then get picked up by a label after the fact?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          "Please tell me someone I would recognize that became famous without a record label."

          Tom Brady is quite famous, and he got no help whatsoever from any of your stupid labels.

           

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          Jay (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Im not "assuming" anything. You would have to be profoundly obtuse and myopic to lack the reasoning ability or perception power to comprehend the impact that literally hundreds of billions of instances of piracy have had on content creators.

          More money for artists, not labels? That's a win win.

          The population is consuming more media than ever before, their appetite is insatiable. And the consumption of pirated content by people who either do not realize their actions are illegal or choose to pirate content knowingly is a big problem for the rights holders and their stake holders.

          So people "progress the arts and sciences" and that's a problem?

          Please tell me someone I would recognize that became famous without a record label

          Grateful Dead sure did. And they did it through old school piracy, sharing of their performances... Fancy that...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

            So the Greatful Dead never had a recording contract with a Label? Is that what you are saying? The label made them famous, they got out of their contract.

             

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          Atkray (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Seriously?

          They have mentioned 5 or 6 already and even I (stuck listening to all mt ripped Rush cd's) recognize 3 of the names. I couldn't tell you what music that make but I've heard of them.

          You are either a liar or so isolated from society that you should be studied by scientists.

           

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          cc (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          "Please tell me someone I would recognize that became famous without a record label."

          Mozart.

          Problem?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          You would have to be profoundly obtuse and myopic to lack the reasoning ability or perception power to comprehend the impact that literally hundreds of billions of instances of piracy have had on content creators.

          Can you cite any proof at all, solid evidence not supposition, of how much the industry has lost? The supposed 'lost sale' cannot be proven. So.... We'll wait for you to prove something, yourself.

           

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          harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Elvis
          (sun was an indie lable)

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Im not "assuming" anything. You would have to be profoundly obtuse and myopic to lack the reasoning ability or perception power to comprehend the impact that literally hundreds of billions of instances of piracy have had on content creators

          Really? Yet when we see an artist embrace piracy, but do so in combination with a smart business model -- and then they end up MAKING MORE MONEY than before, it would seem to suggest that rather than being "obtuse and myopic," the problem is NOT "piracy." It's the failure to put in place a good business model.

          The population is consuming more media than ever before, their appetite is insatiable. And the consumption of pirated content by people who either do not realize their actions are illegal or choose to pirate content knowingly is a big problem for the rights holders and their stake holders.

          Again, it's only a problem for those unwilling to adapt.

          The biggest acts in the business exist because the labels created them. Artists love the labels until they become famous and then they hate them.

          The biggest acts in the business exist because the labels "created" them? Heh. There you go, overvaluing the role of the gatekeeper. Fact is: yes, in the past you needed to go through the gatekeeper process and get lucky and have them push you to become a hugely successful musician.

          Thanks to the internet, the need for the gatekeeper has gone away. So the model is shifting. There's a role for record labels -- as I've said for years -- but it's not as a gatekeeper any more.

          Please tell me someone I would recognize that became famous without a record label.


          You're asking the wrong question. This isn't about who you personally know. Why is that the standard of success. We're talking about how many musicians are making more money than they would have otherwise. And that can be with a label -- just not one that acts as a gatekeeper. Labels like Nettwerk have admitted that copyright is pointless (and they expect it to go away). Lots of labels are embracing cool new things.

          But not the big players. They still view the world through the role of a gatekeeper rather than an enabler.

          But tons of artists are having success embracing new business models. For years I've been showing examples of that.

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011.shtml

           

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          PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:43am

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          "Please tell me someone I would recognize that became famous without a record label."

          Define "famous". Who is "recognisable" to you?

          I've had numerous conversations with people in the US where they thought I was stupid because I didn't know some chart-topping country music star. Sorry, I don't listen to country, am not from a place where that music genre is popular and so I don't don't know the current redneck celebrities. Similarly, they didn't know who i was talking about when I mentioned that my favourite acts included Hybrid and Orbital.

          So, a definition of "famous" is necessary as well as the genres you personally care for before I can answer that question. Unless you mean "someone I've seen many times on TV or heard on my ClearChannel radio station", in which case the question is moot because you've opted to only be exposed to major label artists.

           

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          DC, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Concerned Consumer, or Liar?

           

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      Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      What about the stake holders in the whale oil industry? Surely they deserve to get their money? They invested heavily in owning whaling boats and worked hard to set up an entire distribution chain for it. Don't they deserve to be saved?

       

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        PRMan, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        And what about all those buggy whip factories? And sheet music companies? Poor, poor dears...

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        The difference is that people still consume music they do not use whale oil. If the world decides it no longer likes music or movies, then those businesses will cease to exist but people are watching more video and listening to more music than ever before in history. There is obviously a high demand for their product. Unlike "whale oil" or "buggy whips" which no one wants. That argument should be forever relegated to troll status.

         

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          I think the part that people have stopped needing is someone else to make copies for them.

          I can make copies of music all damn day long, so why should I pay someone else to do it for me?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

            Without the label to bankroll the recording process, the music wouldnt exist in the first place.

             

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              drew (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              Hello! There is a shed load of music being produced without any labels involved. Not only that, it's right there at your fingertips to listen to, also without any labels involved.

              By your argument, if the record labels ceased to exist tomorrow then so would recorded music.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              I doubt you understand how music is produced.

              http://www.jamendo.com/

              How did all those people on Jamendo produced music then?

               

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

              I bet you believe that too.

               

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          Karl (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Unlike "whale oil" or "buggy whips" which no one wants.

          The "whale oil" or "buggy whips" are not music, they're CD's.

          It is CD sales which are declining. Nothing else. People are making more music purchases than at any other point in history.

          They're simply buying MP3's, not CD's. That is the issue the recording industry is facing: the de-bundling of music from its physical format. Every other issue is minor.

          And that is an issue they refuse to face, so they blame "piracy" and bury their heads in the sand. No wonder they're failing.

           

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      Jay (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      The stake holders in these media companies are suffering economic loss because of the proliferation of wide spread piracy.

      False. All evidence points to the fact that NONE of these media companies create platforms for their artists and look to shady business dealings to make more short term financial growth than they could with honest deals.

      These labels invested heavily in recruiting talent and molding that talent into a marketable act. So when the labels cease to exist who will promote the artists, who will connect them with producers, who will hook them up with image consultants, who will "launch" their career?

      Contrary to popular belief, the artists themselves are launching their own careers just fine. It's called Youtube, Soundcloud, Twitter, Topspin, Spotify, and that American concept of "ingenuity".

      Universal isn't unwilling to "adapt", they are however unwilling to sit idly by while their catalog of music is illegally taken.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/08/wpp-groupm-sir-martin-sorrell Then why has Universal made a blacklist? Also, why is Universal blacklisting 50 Cent's website?

      Your idea of adaptation is to give the music away for free, but how is the rights holder, in this case the label, supposed to get money for the music they OWN?

      Simple, 50/50 split of all sales on platforms. Leaves them to make a lot of money and find money to promote instead of the shady business dealing they do now.

      If you can create a compelling case study that shows how a rights holder can generate similar revenue by giving away the only thing it owns (the music itself) - please do so.

      It's amazing that you have yet to hear about Amanda Palmer on this website along with Imogen Heap, Kevin Clark, NIN, Radiohead, OK Go... There is plenty on the site under the "case studies" branch. Hell, there's plenty that comes up regularly about how to make money using the internet and not enforcement.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        I have seen the name Amanda Palmer mentioned on this website many, many times over. I still have yet to hear a single song she has created. She is mysteriously missing from my music collection, receives no radio play in my area, I don't see her name on the Billboard Top (anything) list, I don't see her as one of iTunes Top (anything). While I am sure she is a talented artist, and might even turn a profit, she is far from a household name.

         

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          You should pirate her stuff and check her out. If you like it, support her!

           

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          All you have to do is google her name and her music will magically appear. Isn't that easier than waiting for Billboard, itunes, etc. to tell you what to listen to?

           

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          Jay (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          And through the power of youtube or google you can correct the radio's grievous error.

          Also, I'm sure you won't have heard of the artists that I prefer such as Danny Baranowsky, Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, The Black Mages, zircon, or 1UP. Why do I care if she's a household name? She makes music I like, the same as the others I've mentioned.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

            Thanks for the list of artists. Obviously I have no way to know if your tastes overlap with mine, but what the heck: nearly ANYTHING is worth at least one listen.

            (That's how I found Amanda Palmer. And you know what? I'm not a particular fan of her music. But I sent her $25 anyway. For nothing. Why? Because I like people who punch the system in the face...so I like her.)

             

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          btrussell (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Is Bugatti a household name/item?

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          I have seen the name Amanda Palmer mentioned on this website many, many times over. I still have yet to hear a single song she has created. She is mysteriously missing from my music collection, receives no radio play in my area, I don't see her name on the Billboard Top (anything) list, I don't see her as one of iTunes Top (anything). While I am sure she is a talented artist, and might even turn a profit, she is far from a household name.

          So, because you don't have her music, the fact that she's wildly successful, sells out shows everywhere she goes, raises over $100k on Kickstarter in a few days, is making a shit ton of money... is all meaningless?

          Really?

          You have really stupid metrics.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:53am

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          "I still have yet to hear a single song she has created. "

          If you weren't such an ignorant twat, it wouldn't be so hard...

          http://music.amandapalmer.net/

          "While I am sure she is a talented artist, and might even turn a profit, she is far from a household name."

          Neither are 99% of working artists. Why is this the only value you place on their work?

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

      As a "Concerned Consumer"...

      ...how, precisely, would you be hurt by the demise of any and all record labels?

      If you had been paying attention, you would have seen so many examples of how musicians can make money, but as far as describing how "right's holders" should be expected to make money, I don't think anyone gives a flying... oh, by the way: Who ARE these people anyway? Does anyone really submit their tax return with the words "right's holder" on the occupation line?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

        Re: As a "Concerned Consumer"...

        If you do not understand the term rights holder you really do not understand how licensing works at all.

        When a musician signs a contract they may be granting the "rights" to their recording to the label. The label then becomes the owner of that recording. As the rights holder it is at your dicretion how and where that music is marketed, distributed, formatted, etc...

        I think it is this general lack of understanding that created the epic piracy boom of the 90's. People don't understand how the business works, so they think they aren't hurting anyone by taking music to which they have not purchased a license.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: As a

          "People don't understand how the business works"

          The labels don't understand we don't need them any more. Or they understand that very well so they seek government protectionism to prevent their obsolescence. Honestly it must really suck to be needed one day only to discover you're obsolete the next.

           

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

          Re: Re: As a "Concerned Consumer"...

          The "Piracy" Boom as you want to call it was the introduction of Napster. It made it so much easier for people to share what they liked. They were able to let people experience music they might otherwise not have heard.

          The Labels control what had radio airplay.
          The Labels control what music is available in what market.

          The Labels have decided to keep treating the world as small segments rather than being interconnected. That a delay in releasing a track from a US artist in the UK will somehow make people want it more.
          Instead those in the UK will find another way to get the song,
          some might buy it when its finally available
          some might decide its crap and delete it
          some might not buy it because they slapped the word Import on it and raised the price
          some might not buy it because the Labels decided their business model of this is how we do it because this is how we always did it trumped consumer demand

          You talk about people being hurt, would you please show us the executives at the Labels making less. While the artists might be making less, much of that is just blamed on "piracy" without a real foundation. Labels still charge artists a fee for the breakage of vinyl records, even though they might never have a vinyl record pressed. Labels still demand a lions share of the money from music in digital distribution, where their costs are no where near what they are for a cd. Labels have funded a campaign against consumers, rather than funding a study of how to meet consumer demand. Labels and Studios happen across things that actually lower the "Piracy" rate, and then try to force them out of business by demanding payments that make the platform less convenient.

          Oh and if your not going to admit your a shill here is a protip to look like a concerned citizen... do not talk about having purchased a license. Consumers buy music and refer to it that way.

          Oh look... your strawmen are on fire...

           

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          btrussell (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:20pm

          Re: Re: As a "Concerned Consumer"...

          "..wage rates are either the product of market forces (supply and demand), as is common in the United States,..."
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage

          It is easy and cheap to supply the demand. Copies are not a limited resource.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: As a "Concerned Consumer"...

          But I did purchase a license (at least that's what the studios told me I paid for, a 'license' not the actual songs recorded in analog format on a plastic disk with grooves).

          Can the labels show me the formal 'license' that I received with my LP and explain why I don't have the right to download the song that I legally purchased in at least three formats so far???

          Anyone? Did I buy the song? All the commercial say 'buy the movie' but if I'm not really buying the movie, why are they telling me I can buy the movie? Why don't all the commercials say 'license your right to view the movie one time in your home on your own television...' perhaps because they know nobody would listen to them... If they claim that I'm 'buying' their product, then I don't want hear any crap about how I only have a 'license' for personal use in the format they they provided....

          If your business model revolves around, "Do what I say, not what I do." and you don't have the government legislation to back you up, it's time to change. Of course if your industry has already cornered the monopoly on the politicians, then the rest of the world is in for some serious hurt...

           

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            jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:32am

            Re: Re: Re: As a "Concerned Consumer"...

            The trick is I can sell the plastic disc. If I buy an mp3 from Amazon, why can't I re-sell the mp3? If I can't sell the mp3, then what did I pay for? A license to listen to the music? Then it doesn't matter what format it comes in or how I got it - I have a receipt for the right to listen to it. I can't sell it simply because it's too easy for me to keep a copy. If I can't sell it to someone else, my only other option is to give them a copy.

            The whole notion of ownership is destroyed by digital media, and I don't think anybody's really figured it out yet except the pirates, who figure once it's been digitized, everyone can have it.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      So it is not about artists then it is about big companies that claim ownership on imaginary goods that can never be properly secured.

      I see that as a winning strategy.

      About the whole hyperbole of piracy is killing them, well I can tell you, is not piracy that is keeping me from doing business with labels, studios or writers, I am not going to pay money to you or anyone else that tries to erode civil liberties in the name of greed.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        So its really an ethical delima for you, enjoy your media-free world. And I am not involved in the industry. Also your civil liberties end when you become a criminal, ask all the felons who can't own guns, or vote.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Copyright infringement is a crime! If you engage in copyright infringement you go to jail! Crime is illegal!

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          There are more people creating more content now than ever before, there will be no media free world.
          At the very worst, the media might, maybe, become less slick, although even that is unlikely.
          You have some pretty flaky ideas about how humans work.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Laws aren't always right or morally defensible. It may be before your time, but black people used to have to sit at the back of the bus and had to attend their own schools. Was it right? No. Was it the law? Yes, it was.

          Ownership of non-physical goods is going the same way. Is it right? No. Is it the law? Yes it is.

          The laws are being held hostage by the minority that stand to lose the most, again.

           

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          btrussell (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          You think we can't do without?

          If we don't support them, we are thieves?

          Other than "computer sounds" you will find no music on my PC.

          I can easily do without. I am happiest listening to nature sounds. Original, not recorded.

           

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          btrussell (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:57am

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          "Felons Finding It Easy to Get Gun Rights Reinstated"
          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/us/felons-finding-it-easy-to-regain-gun-rights.html?_ r=1


          Pardon?

           

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          DC, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          You repeat that you are not involved in the industry. Given your arguments are pretty much industry talking points, I find that hard to believe.

          Not to mention some of the pointed criticisms of your arguments you have completely ignored.

          Why don't you tell us what you do when you are not commenting heavily on blogs? How about your profession?

          I think pretty much everyone noticed you quickly dropped the Concerned Consumer tag for AC.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      "The stake holders in these media companies are suffering economic loss because of the proliferation of wide spread piracy."

      Says who?
      and rather more importantly where's the evidence?

      If they are not making the money they hope to make, that is as Mike regularly points out, a business issue not a piracy issue.
      Where are the new services they offer, where are they taking advantage of what the new technology offers.
      Apple had to drag them into selling music effectively over the internet but they insisted on DRM which held back sales.
      When Apple was able to get them to relinquish DRM; sales increased and their first behaviour was to try to ensure that as little money as possible from those sales went to the actual artists.
      They have many artists now actively bypassing them rather than using their services but apparently this is the fault of piracy not a result of incredibly poor business practices.
      Cry me a river, they are stuck in a mindset where they are entitled to truckloads of money simply because they are the gatekeepers despite the fact that most of the gates are gone.

       

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      I don't care what those stake holders are suffering, they probably are not suffering like others.

      Judge William Adams beats daughter for filesharing

      Are they being physically abused by parents?
      Are they being jailed for filming birthday parties?
      Are they being dragged to court and made indenture servants by outrageously high statutory damages?
      Are they the ones that lose their gigs in bars because collection agencies threaten the venues they worked in?

      I hope every and each stake holder on those companies gets broke that is a class of people I will feel no empathy if I ever see them in soup line.

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re: What about their stake holders

        Mike, can you do us a favour please? Can you somehow censor (I know you and I both hate it, but in this case...) any comment that has that link? I'm getting sick and tired of seeing it on Techdirt, because it has nothing to do with any of the articles I've seen it posted on. Yes, what the judge did is horrible, but again, it has no relevance.

         

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          I'm willing to bet it's just one person posting it.

          It's horrible, yes, but I'm pretty sure not all people who are IP Maximalists beat their children.

          In fact, from here on out I think I'll start reporting it as spam, because it really adds nothing to the conversation.

           

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          The eejit (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about their stake holders

          Report it. Flag it. I'm getting sick of it too. So I flag it. I suggest we all do the same, on account of it's no longer relelvant to the current discussions. Yes, it's horrible to know of, but it's no longer relevant.

           

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      AR (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      Mind you this is my own personal opinion and not necessarily that of Mike or Techdirt.

      I will assume by "stake holders" you mean "corporate shareholders". On that assumption I urge you to use a new tool called google and do a search of the term "Occupy Wall Street". If the shareholders are not demanding that the labels conform to the demands of their customers and the market, then thats their problem. If those shareholders fail to see a return on their investment and lose all their money, well too bad for them. I, at least, couldnt care any less!!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:50pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

       

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      John Nemesh, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

      Re: What about their stake holders

      Piracy is not the problem. The problem is that for YEARS they were on the gravy train while customers replaced old vinyl with shiny new CDs. Now that most people have finished buying replacements for vinyl...guess what? Revenues drop! Oh noes! It MUST be piracy, and filthy stealing thieves! Nope...It just means more people are buying independently produced music, or simply listening to music they already own.

      You also have a dramatic shift in home entertainment going on. In the 70s, you didnt have home video or computer games...so your entertainment budget went mainly to music. Now there are other people wanting your entertainment dollars. You only have so much free time...are you spending it listening to music? Or playing video games? Or watching your 500 channels of cable TV? Or watching a DVD or Blu-Ray or on demand video?

      In short, "Concerned Consumer"...your arguments dont hold a DROP of water! And you want to know how a musician can make money while giving away music? Simple, they go on tour and play live music...you cant pirate the live experience, and MANY musicians are making quite a good living this way!

       

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      kfreed, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:17am

      Re: What about their stake holders

      Who needs a record label when you've got the Intertubes? Artists are promoting themselves; cutting out the middle men entirely. Their fans do the rest. Life goes on. Nobody dies (except too big to fail record labels that serve to pilfer from the artists just as they do consumers). Everybody wins.

       

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    Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Don't be fooled by label propaganda

    Here's one example of how shills and their masters at the copyright cartels want you to think the reality of music works:

    Reality:
    A phone rings in a small apartment where four musicians from the New Age Rock band "Eating Babies" are sitting. The Lead Guitarist Band Member One picks up the phone:
    Band manager: Hey guys! great news, quick turn on the radio on Hits FM!
    Band Member one: Its our manager, he wants us to turn on the radio.
    Band Member two: Cool..(he turns on the Radio to Hits FM)
    DJ Remix: And now for a new band fresh on the scene, here's "The Rock Town" song from "Eating Babies"
    Band Member three: DUDE, we're on the radio! Can you believe it!
    Band Member two: People are listening to our song? FUCK YEAH! Wooohooo!
    Band Member One: WE MADE IT! People are going to hear our song! Time to party.
    Band Member Four: I'll call Linda to tell her to call the gang!
    Band Member Three: I've never been so happy in my life....
    (a wild party ensues)

    The Fake Propaganda reality:
    A public pay-phone rings in a backalley where four musicians from the label produced and approved "New Age" Rock band "Eating Babies" are starving having not eaten for days. The Lead Guitarist Band Member One picks up the phone:
    Band manager: Hey guys! I have some bad news, very bad news to tell you, you better turn on the radio to Hits FM.
    Band Member one: Its our manager, he wants us to turn on the our broken old radio.
    Band Member two: I'm soo depressed (he turns on the Radio to Hits FM)
    DJ Remix: And now for a new band fresh on the scene, here's "The Rock Town" song from "Eating Babies"
    Band Member three: DUDE, we're on the radio! Can you believe it!?
    Band Member two: People are listening to our song? THOSE FUCKING PIRATE FREETARDS! THEY'RE STEALING OUR SONG!
    Band Member One: People are going to hear our song..FOR FREE! Time to sue!
    Band Member Four: I'll call Linda at the RIAA to get her gang and find these pirate Hits FM radio thieves and all their scumbag freetard listeners!
    Band Member Three: I've never been so miserable in my life....
    (a wild party *at the RIAA offices* ensues)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

      Re: Don't be fooled by label propaganda

      You don't understand how the system really works at all. The band wouldn't be concerned with anyone hearing their music because the band wont make money from the music for a long long time. They are indebted to the label who fronted them money, paid for the studio time, hired engineers, producers, studio musicians, etc., mastered the tracks, paid for promotion, etc... Once the work becomes profitable they will split the procedes according to the terms of the contract.

       

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        Sage (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Re: Don't be fooled by label propaganda

        Are you an idiot? Yes, that's the way the current, dying system works. It's hard to be a gatekeeper when there are no longer any walls. The middle men are are no longer needed. Tough. This is an exciting time to be a musician though!

         

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        Rikuo (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re: Don't be fooled by label propaganda

        Why is it you can't understand? That method is old, inefficient and as you yourself said, it doesn't result in an income for the band. There are plenty of cases of a band having a million sales, and yet not getting a penny.
        Why is it that you trust the record labels to keep their word? Especially when time and time again, they have been to not be trustworthy?

         

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        JarHead, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 7:56pm

        Re: Re: Don't be fooled by label propaganda

        You don't understand how the system really works at all. The band wouldn't be concerned with anyone hearing their music because the band wont make money from the music for a long long time.

        Wow, just wow.
        Are you just ignorant, or pretends to understand "musician" or "artist" in general?

        Of all your previous comments, this is what I find most offensive as someone who went the road. In fact, most offensive from all comments on TechDirt I've read, even from shills and trolls.

        An artist 1st and foremost concern is being recognized by his/her own works. Money comes later. How much later depends on the artist and circumstances.

        An artist who doesn't concern his/her works being recognized? Hah, I'd like to meet one.

         

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 2:29am

        Re: “They are indebted to the label who fronted them money, paid for the studio time, hired engineers, producers, studio musicians, etc., mastered the tracks, paid for promotion, etc..”

        Hang on, how does that work again? Who paid for all that stuff—the band or the label? If it was the label that paid for it, then how come the band is “indebted” to them? Because if the band has to refund the money, then it’s really the band that paid for all that, isn’t it?

        In which case the rights to all that stuff should belong to the band, not the label. But it doesn’t: the label somehow manages to keep all the rights, while charging everything to the band. That’s the system that is being destroyed by “piracy”. Tell us why we and the musicians should mourn, again?

         

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    ScytheNoire, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    But won't someone think about...

    Just like the horseshoers and player piano repairmen of the past, all things must either evolve, or disappear. But don't shed a tear for them, for in their ashes, larger, better companies will rise up, just as it's always been throughout history as technology evolves.

    Well, that is unless they can pass legislation to try to bring on a technology Dark Age. That's basically what they are trying to do with SOPA/Protect IP/DMCA/ACTA and every other legislation they present to corrupt politicians.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

      Re: But won't someone think about...

      People are consuming music more now than at any time in history. You argument is not valid because the product the labels are producing is in high demand.

       

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        drew (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re: But won't someone think about...

        Your assumption is invalid because the labels are no longer the only people producing music. Trying to keep a gate keeping role when the is no longer a fence is not a valid business model.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Re: But won't someone think about...

        Haven't bought a label album in many, many years. This only hurts some of my favorite artists, but they made their choice, and I made mine. Tough luck on them.

         

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    How Much is a Legacy Copyright Worth?

    OK, if we take the number of copyrights held by these big three, and add up their music income for, lets say 20 years, and then divide, we get the average income of 'a single piece of music' for 20 years, which divided by 20 equals an approximation of annual average copyright income. Then divide by the number of formats we have re-bought in, vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD, mp3, attempts at pay for each performance (read every time you play it it is a public performance). Is that number close to what we actually paid?

    If that number is big, then the argument that they are harmed is weak. If that number is small, then think about how many more times do you want to pay for 'your' music.

    But..but...but...new music you say. I think an interesting question might be, what is the rate of change in 'Big Labels' signing 'New Talent'. Is it growing? Is it shrinking? What does that tell? I am sure they make offers one 'cannot' refuse to some, but how many?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    derp

    If they only gave away all their music, they would have been wildly successful, according to mikey.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

      Re: derp

      Instead they didn't give away all their music and have been wildly unsuccessful.

       

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      The eejit (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

      Re: derp

      That's not quite the point, but way to attack Mike!

      The point is that the music is technically infinite as a product. Things around it (such as live performances in concerts) are not.

       

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    The stake holders in these media companies are suffering economic loss because of the proliferation of wide spread piracy.

    How is that the case in Sony's instance? They have the cash to buy another company; obviously, they aren't going broke.

    Is this said of mergers in banking? Are big banks grabbing up small ones due to 'piracy'? What about in other businesses?

    The paper industry has been merging and moving around a lot as well, it's not due to piracy.

    It's really more a matter of companies not adapting to current trends and technology. Such as the case of Stagecoach manufacturers; but some companies, like Wells Fargo did in fact adapt, and very well I might add.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    The RIAA serves as a shield. it makes people think that its actions are that of a third party organization, and not a shadow puppet of the big labels.

    As such, even if there was only one label left, the RIAA would still exist.


    It's a shield - but the only problem is that the other army is using bullets now, so the medieval shield is obsolete.

    I bet if Sony just put up a page, with free to download lower quality tunes, 99 cent high quality tunes and some solid advertising; they would be making piles of cash. Especially if they added value, like a database of purchases and an online music vault so you could re-download any purchased music anytime.

     

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    RobertPaulson, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Stern

    Can someone explain all this to Howard Stern? He honestly believes this is all due to piracy.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Copyright infringement is a crime! If you engage in copyright infringement you go to jail! Crime is illegal!

    A lot of people here don't argue with that at all - I don't.

    BUT - taking value AWAY from your customers is a crappy way to do business. The customers KNOW 20 bucks for 15 songs is a RIP OFF.

    How much does it cost to make a MP3? We know how much it costs... maybe 1 cent for the power involved.

    Customers want to feel as though they are getting their money's worth; that's never changed. What has changed is the obviousness at how bad the music industry is shafting the consumers.

    Some companies 'get it' - NetFlix is a good example. How are they making money with 'free' movies on the web?

    Still - it makes me wonder how the music industry EVER made any money at all, with broadcast radio being free for the last 100 years...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    What is an MP3? It is a file. You can create an MP3 that is is less than one second long and contains no sound, just silence. What is the value of that?

    The real value of an MP3 comes from the content that it contains. This content is NOT free to create, it involves someone spending a great deal of time writing the lyrics, the music, arranging the music, performing the music, recording the performance, mixing the pieces together, mastering the track, etc... And all of that happens many many times. Content production is expensive and time consuming and a great deal of work. It is not FREE.

    Download all the empty MP3 files you want, they are worthless. Purchase a license for all the content you want.

    Illegal content should not be available on the internet, normally honest people became criminals when they pirated cotent. They did this for various reasons, but one of the most compelling reasons was because "everyone else is doing it". The labels should have never been placed in a position where they were forced to compete with free on such a large scale.

     

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      The real value of an MP3 comes from the content that it contains.

      No, the real value comes from *my* computer, which can decode the mp3 into sound to be played by *my* speakers using *my* electricity, to be bounced off *my* eardrums.

      You clearly don't understand who needs whom in this equation.

      Illegal content should not be available on the internet, normally honest people became criminals when they pirated cotent. They did this for various reasons, but one of the most compelling reasons was because "everyone else is doing it".

      Normally honest people know when they are doing something wrong, therefore, if most normally honest people don't think what their doing is wrong, it's time for the laws to change to match what these normally honest people believe.

      The labels should have never been placed in a position where they were forced to compete with free on such a large scale.

      This is what innovation looks like. If someone invents a cheap way to teleport people over large distances, will you be first in line demanding we hold back progress to save the jobs of everyone in the transportation industry?

      We don't need the record labels to get music to our ears, anymore. That time has passed. It sucks for those people who depending on moving around copies of music, but that's how it works. I still believe that labels still have a role to play in the music industry, but it's going to be much smaller, and they are going to be at the mercy of the artists, not the other way around.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

      Re:

      "The real value of an MP3 comes from the content that it contains. This content is NOT free to create, it involves someone spending a great deal of time writing the lyrics, the music, arranging the music, performing the music, recording the performance, mixing the pieces together, mastering the track, etc... And all of that happens many many times. Content production is expensive and time consuming and a great deal of work. It is not FREE."

      And after the content creator gives up his rights to the music so some giant corporation will give him a small stipend we should continue to shove money up the corporations ass for the next 175 years.

      I love these creating music is hard arguments when we know the majors like to give as little money to the creators as possible.

      The old one-two fake.
      try and drum sympathy for corporations that have no sympathy for the people they use to get people behind their cause.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

      Re:

      No, honest people become criminals when the government labels them as such, get treated like shit by the very people they trusted, or lost so many rights and witnessed so many innocent people being put down, they figured they might as well do what they want.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 1:59am

      Re:

      Yeah, OK I'll download an MP3 of my favourite AC/DC song. Oh, I can't buy it? I'll download it for free then...

      "The labels should have never been placed in a position where they were forced to compete with free on such a large scale."

      Aw... poor babies... they should have been allowed to kill radio and cassette tapes when they had the chance, right?

       

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    Kirion, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    I'v kind of hoped that Blavatnik will buy EMI after he bought Warner. This guy is up to something interesting.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 7:54pm

    I saw this article elsewhere and there was a portion that nearly knocked me out of my chair.
    http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/11/11/11/1624236/universal-buys-emis-recorded-music- unit-for-19-billion

    "'Although the enlarged Universal will now account a third of all music sales worldwide, company executives believe they can persuade regulators to allow it to swallow the business whole because the music industry is in such decline. Nevertheless, Universal will respond by selling record labels or catalogs if the European Commission were to demand disposals.'""

    They are in such decline they could still afford billions for more material in a declining market? While there might be a good reason to gobble up a competitor in a shrinking market, paying billions for what you claim has dropping value seems dumb. If there is such a horrible decline in the market shouldn't the catalog be worth less?

     

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    Eldakka (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    I thought Google would be interested in buying?

    Wouldn't owning the copyrights to a large percentge of the music traded online be good for Google? Allow people to use their tracks on youtube videos etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Feels like they may know something we don't .....

    Wouldn't you have wanted to be 'in' on Microsoft before it took off, or Apple? Perhaps the big labels know something we the people don't and are just positioning themselves for the next big thing....

    Or they are grasping at straws.... only time will tell

     

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:43am

      Re: Feels like they may know something we don't .....

      The major labels aren't waiting for something new. They're waiting for stability.

      They have one old revenue stream that makes $x, and they have a new revenue stream that makes much less. They are always going to support the revenue stream that brings in the most money, which is why they didn't embrace the internet to begin with. Their only interest is to maximize profits. They'll keep selling those plastic discs as long as people keep buying them, because it makes more money for them. When that business dries up and the internet becomes a greater source of income, they'll abandon the old business for the new in a heartbeat, but it's up to the innovators to create that business for them.

      In the meantime, they'll just sit on their piles of cash and wait. They can bleed a long time before they die, and they know the winner will always be the one that owns the most content. Those three companies now own and control most of the music of the 20th century and will own it long after we're dead. The longer the copyright, the more money they make - and by they I don't mean artists. It's all lawyers, accountants, and marketers.

       

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Because they have better ways to make money than innovating.

    The innovators don't have a way to make money. That's why they're innovating. They don't have access to the things the major labels do to make money - radio networks, television networks, magazines and newspapers - things that are all owned and controlled by the major labels' parent corporations. The innovators have to come up with new ways to make money, and most of them will fail miserably. Finding new ways to make money is risky business.

    We've seen the major labels experiment but they always do it in the most cautious, guarded, can't-lose-money sort of way (more like can't-threaten-our-current-revenue-stream way), and those experiments always fail. But once an innovator finds a way to make money (like Apple did with iTunes) the major labels will jump in to grab all the cash they can, and then use their power to find ways to make more cash (like forcing Apple to raise its prices). Eventually, they get enough cash that it becomes their new revenue source, but it will be on the backs of outside innovators.

    They don't have to innovate because the know other people will do it for them, and they can legitimize (or consume) anyone that succeeds by offering up their massive catalog. They're betting everything on the value of their copyright holdings, which is why everything depends on extending and enforcing copyright.

    The only real successful innovations we've ever seen from the major labels are compact discs and DVDs. They're awesome innovations, but they were long ago.

     

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    kfreed, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    Screw 'em

    I no longer purchase music, period. Ever since the Napster crap (going after teens for sharing music)... the smae way every boo-hoo baby boomer on here crying "piracy" did with tape recordings when they were kids.

    They allowed Napster to do it's thing and once unsuspecting kids got sucked into it, they decided to sue them. Their pettiness ended it for me.

     

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


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