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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Music Industry and Piracy

Piracy and the music industry. I read about it almost every day and I think it is misunderstood. I am not saying it's correct or OK, I am saying it's misidentified.

So now let's establish a few random thoughts to help identify the problem.

First
It's easy. There is a lot of digital out there, movies, books, etc... Movies threaten you at the beginning, do not copy. Books... is anyone stealing Kindle digital books? But music, videos don't threaten us and software seems to pop up every other day to make it easier to download music for free.

Second
Do we care? As in sports when there is a labor dispute, we don't care as long as it does not disrupt our entertainment. It's billionaires arguing with millionaires, that is how the general public views it. The same goes for the music industry. It may not be accurate but we tend to view it as billionaire record companies and millionaire performers. We follow performers traveling the globe, partaking in conspicuous consumption while most are just trying to survive the great recession. That view lends to apathy about the problem.

Third
The performers themselves... New performers just want their stuff to be heard, then when established... not so much. It's the nature of the business but a mixed message.

Fourth
This is the most important of them all. "Pirates"
What is a pirate? Like Blackbeard. What did he do? He stole, and then what did he do with this booty? Share it? No, he kept it for himself. Today Hyperbot had an article on Piracy and had a picture of 3 Pirates.

Now since we already have established that the perception is that the performers and the music industry are rich... and we know this so called pirate does not keep this download for himself but then shares it via a file sharing platform....

So... who stole from the rich and gave to the poor??? No not Blackbeard... or any other pirate... it was Robin Hood!

It's Robin Hood you are dealing with. Dealing with Robin Hood is a lot different then dealing with a pirate. The person being stolen from feels the same but you have to go a little further into the process.

Now we developed a profile of this problem and of the people.
Instead of building your walls thicker and higher it would be clever if these Robin Hoods could be incorporated into the solution.

One thought... if there was a MLM, multi level marketing system for the Robin Hoods to help distribute the product and earn money doing it, would that help?
It would be interesting to see what would happen to those that did not participate and still continued on stealing the product and redistribute it for free. The newly incorporated Robin Hoods are now the ones being stolen from too and they themselves would be the advocates of chasing them and shutting them done. Make the problem part of the solution.

Just a wild thought I had, but still... they are Robin Hoods.

Would you do it...
Let's face it, iTunes does not distribute for free. A controlled platform that the artist can control and allows fans to join and earn money redistributing your product. If you as an artist are part of the long tail... can it hurt distribution? If you are a top 20...maybe not for them.

I have not worked out these numbers, it's just an example.
An artist experiments with one song. Normally on iTunes for 99 cents
(using USD in my example)
and free everywhere else by the Robin Hoods.
But now you can sign up and redistribute through this new MLM media, let's say it cost $5.99 for the digital version of the song and the rights to redistribute though this MLM program. People can buy for $1.99 or become a distributor die $5.99 through you. You make...say $1.00 for everyone that buys or becomes a distributor. Would you do it?
And if that song appears somewhere for free... I would do everything in my power to shut it down along with everyone else that became a distributor...

I know there are a million ways it will not work, think outside the box and come up with a way it will work and perhaps you will be the next big thing.

Enough of my mid winter crisis post...

Alizee Nation

1 comments:

Lefty said...

Interesting commentary. Music has become a commodity in the minds of the masses, and because of too many factors to mention, that commodity is reaching a monetary value of zero. It's really too bad that artistic value and monetary value are so out of step with each other. And I suppose many people find the idea of intellectual property rights hard to wrap their heads around.

And yes, it is mostly a myth that artists are all rich. The record companies have seen to it that they get almost all the money from sales. Artists have their best chance to make money from concerts. There is virtually no middle class in the music business. You have a few wealthy artists at the top with the vast majority of artists living hand to mouth. Not very fair and equitable.

 

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