I don’t support the crap that “hackers” or “crackers” get up to – but with the questionable arrest of mafiaboy (a Montrealer, btw), I just want to ask the authorities to demonstrate how a short outage cost companies “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
While Dr Dre and Metallica are both talking about suing Napster, record company people are starting to get it. Wired News reports that the majors are going to offer downloadable music in a big way this summer. Quote: “Although the recording industry has complained that some services that offer downloadable online music violate copyright laws and cut into a label’s profits, company sales actually are up.”
It’s promising in one way, but the article is also pretty depressing, because the contradiction between Metallica/Napster and what the labels are planning to do indicates that the artists are probably going to be squeezed by this whole thing.
Wired reports today on publishers who are beginning to put whole books online. Finally. It’s taking a while, but these folks should get it eventually. What magazine or newspaper doesn’t put most if not all of its content online at the moment? Magazine sales are at an all time high. Newspaper ad revenues are rising. I have experience with this – a book I worked on was entirely published on the net before we compiled it, designed it, and put it on paper to sell in stores through St. Martin’s Press.
New Media don’t replace or even really threaten old media – they complement it. Maybe the RIAA and the big music companies will figure this out. Where they see a threat, they should see an opportunity.
But the RIAA is like OPEC just before the end of the oil shocks in the 70s. Eventually someone will defect like some giant game theory test case. They’ll figure out that McLuhan was right – the medium is the message… and the medium of a CD publisher isn’t little plastic disks, it’s the music itself, and the idea of the music. And that day they’ll license like crazy to value-added resellers and make money from the brand, not some bulky clear plastic thing in a jewel case.
They’ll be the only recognizable survivors.