Ars has a few pieces up sounding the death knell of the recording industry. I'm starting to get the image of peasants gathering ad hoc weaponry and storming the mad scientist's castle.
First, there's a piece about the increasing ability of software to "understand" music sufficiently well to actually accompany a live musician. How exactly does one account for such in existing copyright schemes? I mean, the software is essentially referencing an existing recording, but then using it to compose a new version on the fly, unique to that performance.
Then there's a report indicating that persons 18-34 worldwide have very low trust for recording companies, sometimes lower even than insurance companies. Why? Because the recording industry treats us like pirates. Granted, plenty of us are, but that's significantly in response to the recording industry not giving us what we want, i.e. the ability to play any media we acquire on any device at any time without restriction. Everyone knows that DRM isn't about piracy anymore: it's about selling more copies of the same stuff.
There's also a discussion of compulsory licenses, favored by Barenaked Ladies guitarist Steven Page, interviewed for the article. Essentially, ISPs would tack on an extra $5-10/month to their charges, track songs that are downloaded, and disburse funds accordingly. Not sure I like that idea, but it's interesting.
One thing is clear: any regime which criminalizes millions of US citizens but imposes no real penalties--like the existing copyright regime--is non-viable and in desperate need of reformation.Posted by ryan at April 30, 2007 11:52 AM | TrackBack