One step closer to a law against mu­sic piracy

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

There is no such thing as a quiet week for those keep­ing tabs on how the record in­dus­try is cop­ing with the ups and downs of dig­i­tal mu­sic.

The fo­cus world­wide of late has been on moves by record la­bels lob­by­ing gov­ern­ments to force in­ter­net ser­vice providers (ISPs) to curb il­le­gal file-shar­ing.

The ma­jor la­bels have be­come in­creas­ingly shrill in their crit­i­cisms of ISPs of late, say­ing this sec­tor have un­fairly prof­ited off the back of recorded mu­sic. Paul McGuin­ness’s re­cent MIDEM speech con­tained sev­eral digs of this variety.

The record in­dus­try would like the ISPs to ter­mi­nate the in­ter­net con­nec­tions of per­sis­tent il­le­gal file-shar­ers. How­ever, ISPs have been point­ing out that it’s not as easy as that.

Bri­tish cul­ture sec­re­tary Andy Burn­ham en­tered the fray this week and it was ob­vi­ous from his com­ments that record in­dus­try lob­by­ists earned their fat fees.

Burn­ham told the ISPs to come up with a work­able plan to curb mu­sic and movie piracy or the gov­ern­ment would bring in their own leg­is­la­tion to deal with this next year.

In­ter­net and le­gal ex­perts be­lieve that such a move, which is al­ready in train in France, would face huge tech­ni­cal, le­gal and con­sumer hur­dles were it to be im­ple­mented.

With a new sur­vey point­ing to the fact that one in five Bri­tish in­ter­net users have ad­mit­ted to il­le­gally down­load­ing copy­righted ma­te­rial, it does ap­pear to be an­other in­stance of the record in­dus­try re­act­ing too late.

Chris An­der­son, au­thor of The Long Tail and ed­i­tor of Wired mag­a­zine, be­lieves that tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances have turned mu­sic into a “free” prod­uct.

“Be­tween dig­i­tal re­pro­duc­tion and peer-to-peer dis­tri­bu­tion, the real cost of dis­tribut­ing mu­sic has truly hit bot­tom,” says An­der­son in the cur­rent is­sue of Wired.

“The prod­uct has be­come free be­cause of sheer eco­nomic grav­ity. That force is so pow­er­ful that laws, guilt trips, DRM, and ev­ery other bar­rier to piracy the la­bels can think of have failed.” The so­lu­tion? An­der­son points to cross-sub­sidi­s­a­tion, where acts and la­bels give away free mu­sic “as a way of mar­ket­ing con­certs, mer­chan­dise, li­cens­ing, and other paid fare”. Good news, yet again, for es­tab­lished bands and her­itage acts.

Paul McGuin­ness: get­ting the digs in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.