Hey, Things Are Looking UP for Music. Sort Of.

CD sales are cratering. Piracy is rampant.  No one respects copyright.  But, hey, things are looking up.

Huh?  What’s that?

It’s isn’t all bad.  Really.  Paid Content points out at least four things that seem to be working out for the music industry.  Lemme see if I can sum things up and maybe punch a few holes in things.


1.  Legal services are catching on.  

Good news:  Very true.  It’s been a struggle, but people are getting the hang of legal streaming services and legal download sites.  

Bad news:  We still can’t get everything we want.  Ask any Canadian who wants to listen to Pandora or Spotify.  Or wants to watch TV on Hulu.  Or buy MP3s from Amazon.com. Whenever the Internet encounters an artificial roadblock, it interprets it as damage and routes around it.  This sort of territorial rights bullshit perpetuates piracy, IP spoofing, tunnelling and all kinds of other things we’re not supposed to do.


2.  Governments are supportive

Good news:  True–if you’re hoping that governments will crack down on pirates.  Many nations have taken a get-tough stance on freeloading downloaders.

Bad news:  ACTA.  SOPA.  Heavy-handed tactics from industry organizations like the RIAA.


3.  Labels are winning court support

Good news:  It’s good if you’re a label.

Bad news:  Not so good if your name is Jammie Thomas or if you run a website with names like Isohunt or The Pirate Bay.


4.  Intermediaries are playing ball

Good news:  Google and Baidu are starting to filter out illegal music-sharing sites from their searches.

Bad news:  Of course they are.  Both have music services that want to sell us stuff.  And for the labels and rightsholders, Russian sites are still very much an issue.  But would you give your credit card number to a sketchy Russian site?


Read the whole story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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