Pay for illegal music downloads?

The Internet revolution is like the railway revolution of 200 years ago. New and excessive opportunities are available for everyone. The major record labels missed the 6.15 and while they stand freezing on the virtual platform they whine about ‘piracy’ and CD sales being down.

Online music sales are increasing at an exponential rate

Major labels fail to point out that online music sales are increasing at an exponential rate. They state that the increase in digital sales has not made up for the decrease in revenue from CD sales. Let’s get one thing straight, video didn’t kill the radio star and the Internet is a powerful tool for musicians, event promoters and record labels.

Choice please

I’m surprised the entertainment industry hasn’t reported ground breaking news like ‘VHS sales down’. Well, that’s because VHS sales are up! Drops in CD sales are obviously not because the technology is archaic and well, absolutely rubbish. The fact of the matter is: large record labels don’t want to give the customer what they want, choice.

track-by-track purchases create a significant revenue shortfall: where in the past those consumers would have generated revenue equivalent to an entire album’s worth of sales, now they only offer a small percentage of that revenue.

Major labels don’t appreciate users who want to select a few tracks from an album. They force users to download the entire album. I’m sure musicians will argue that you must listen to their entire album to fully appreciate its magical journey. However, users should still have a choice.

Meanwhile, the larger labels continue to cloud the waters with complaints of revenue loss due to ‘online priacy’. Hopefully they’ll all stop stamping their feet soon and appoint executives who have a brain.

There’s a set of data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists. Not bad for artists. So maybe we shouldn’t be stopping it all the time – Douglas Merrill, EMI’s newly appointed president of digital music group

Big brother is getting bigger

It seems Google, Amazon and Apple want to create a DRM cloud. They want to digitally watermark your downloads. Apple and Walmart are already using this technique to track users. Labels are demanding that a user can only stream music that is watermarked to their username a.k.a ‘dirty MP3s’. Change the username, or try to stream music that you’ve ripped from a CD, and those songs won’t play. Yes, it’s true, DRM is raising its ugly head again.

To make matters worse, major labels are making deals with large ISPs to offer music on tap. Dirty MP3s and dirty ISPs, I have a bad feeling about this….

One of the UK’s top ISPs is preparing to launch an unlimited music service that would see it pay record labels for songs illegally downloaded by its customer

Ironically, Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal face up to $6 billion in damages for pirating a massive 300,000 tracks. Seems you can have your cake and eat it.

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