Some Recent Music Trends
Seems that the ever-changing music industry is continuing to do just that. 2015 saw some interesting music trends. First off, streaming is up and digital downloads are down. Even The Beatles are now available on streams. In many ways, it makes sense that streaming is up. You pay for a service, or get it free, and you don’t need to buy each release. However, vinyl is making a comeback at the same time.
Talk About Misleading Headlines!
I happened across an AP news article which, paraphrasing so that we don’t get sued, claimed that music sales are finally inching up… for the first time since 1999. (I know I am taking a chance even using “1999” for Prince and the Universal Goons may still be lurking out there, just waiting for another opportunity to swoop down and swing their IP sword of death.) Fortunately, they provided a link to the source. It is a report from the IFPI which is short for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. While not the RIAA, it is a similar such organization certainly spouting similar rhetoric with this report.
I have been aware that many associations in the music and film industry are not the best at math and statistics. I have often written about how the legal system is skewed by political favoritism regarding IP, how the industry skews law enforcement and, recently, their further adventures on the road less logical.
Being in the news is nothing new for Kim Dotcom. I recall the YouTube take down fiasco, his song to the president, the raid, and, as almost all of us at Indie Nation News believed, learning the raids were very likely illegal. If you need to catch up on this ongoing adventure, I suggest this page at TechDirt with lots of articles on Dotcom, otherwise wait for the movie. I am sure that someone is going to do one soon.
However, I wonder how many others remember “Megabox” and Mr. Dotcom’s pledge to take down the modern music industry?
2012.06.04 – Tech Net News and Opinion
Welcome to this week’s episode of Tech Net News and Opinion. This week we accidentally/intentionally did things a bit differently. For those of you who have been asking for more news and less music, you got it. Brian, Knowles, Meshelly, Knunez (iPhone at Geekshed), OmniDragon and Lumpy start and end this week’s show with music but the rest is all news talk.
Remember listeners and readers, if you wish to participate, the way to do so is to get on over to the Geekshed IRC Network and join us in #indienation. We do the news live almost every Monday from 8-10 PM EST. (As a general rule, if a Monday is a holiday in the USA, we do NOT do the news.) If you have items you think we should cover as news, shoot us an email at email@example.com or tweet us @indienationfm.
An Interview with Gabriel Redding
In this podcast interview featuring the music of Gabriel Redding, we opened with the title track, Untethered, from his most recent release. Immediately after we started conversation with this awesome pop rock artist.
Google Music Launches
Although pretty much everywhere, I caught the news of this via my EnGadget RSS feed. Google Music has launched and offered over 8 million tracks the first day. The selection of music will soon increase to over 13 million.
While the music program has been known and in beta, there was speculation as to which and how many labels would be on board, EnGadget reports that 3 major labels and 23 independents have signed on.
In conversation, we discussed how the MPAA likely cost Hollywood more than Torrents, MP3 vs Physical Media, why do people pirate and how these items relate.
Motorola Approve Google PurchaseFollowing up on recent old news, more specifically the recent “Google bought Motorola” stories. First off, to clarify what I have too often heard, Google did not buy Motorola in entirety, specifically only Motorola Mobility. In Lumpy’s opinion, likely for patents to defend the Droid phone.
They announced sticking to a “hands off” approach regarding operations. The purchase, however likely, needed final approval from the “actual” owners of Motorola.
According to a post at Physorg.com, Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility was given final approval by the Motorola stock holders. The deal was valued at 12.5 billion dollars. Of note however, though no problem is expected, the regulators has still not officially approved this purchase.
RIAA Does Not Like The Used Digital Music Sale Business
This is one we may wish to file under “no surprise”… After all other than there outdated-make-no-sense-lobby-and-sue-to-make-it-our-way business model what part of the music business does the music industry actually love? This is the same organization that tried to stop 8-tracks, cassettes and used record stores for they were all certainly going to destroy the music business.
Thanks to the ingenious strategy of “sue em all” and total alienation of their customers, the Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity has kept this dying business alive for decades. Unfortunately, when they are done paying the organization’s officers, legal fees and lawyers, there is nothing left for the artists.
Slashdot points to a few good articles relevant to ReDigi, a company which is claiming to re-sell digital music. The RIAA has sent ReDigi a letter, more or less telling them to stop. This one should be an interesting one to follow. Will it reverse the decision of Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc. or will the industries stance of “first sale” win?
Unfortunately, with both the US legal system and the RIAA involved, one has no clue what a court may decide. While I am not too sure, “re-selling” digital media is actually legal. The case referenced was more specifically involving software not music… software purchased and physically resold. As for music, sooner or later a line must be drawn in the litigious sand that fills the litter box of the current war over content, distribution and ownership.
SOPA Not Well Liked By Many
Mike Masnick of TechDirt posted that many have been expressing a dislike for SOPA. The “Stop On-line Piracy Act” or H.R. 3261 is currently in committee hearings. One of the more popular news stories which came out of the public reaction to this potential law was “Free Justin Beiber”. The bill would make on-line streaming copyright offenses a felony, with up to 5 years prison time. Ironically, Beiber sent a cease and dessist order to Free Beiber which was started by Fight for the Future.
The TechDirt article lists the following as opposing this bill:
- Hacker News who has actually put up a site so that you can send representatives a letter.
- The ACLU regarding free speech issues
- The American Library Association as part of the Library Copyright Alliance
- Association of Research Libraries (PDF of letter) as part of the Library Copyright Alliance
- Human Rights Watch
- New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative
- The Competitive Enterprise Institute over due process concerns
- EFF – Has many articles on this topic
- Public Knowledge
- Consumers Union
- Consumer Federation of America
- US PIRG
- The Brookings Institution
- ESET over security concerns
The EFF lists even more who oppose this bill, “including Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, AOL and Mozilla”.
The process of approving this bill has also come under scrutiny, TechDirt discusses that the committee is perceived as biased and, add to that, those opposed to the bill have not been permitted to attend the hearings. The EFF has more on those who are not permitted to attend and states that many of those who are permitted to attend actually helped draft the bill.
An additional link was also brought up during the live discussion:
If you would like to participate in this show’s live discussion, contact us at 818-81-INDIE or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cautious Optimism Follows SOPA Hearings: Don’t Get Cocky (readwriteweb.com)
- SOPA copyright bill draws fire (news.cnet.com)
- TechFast: SOPA Backlash, Google’s Music Store, Tablet Wars (techland.time.com)
- Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act Now (dailyfinance.com)
- Stop the Stop Online Piracy Act Now (fool.com)
- ISPs versus SOPA: Anti-piracy bill could force severe privacy-invading measures (zdnet.com)
- Google Music debuts, with downloads and sharing (live blog) (news.cnet.com)
- Google Music debuts, with downloads and sharing (live blog) (news.cnet.com)
- How SOPA would affect you: FAQ (news.cnet.com)
- Tech Giants Take Out Newspaper Ad Blasting Net Censorship Proposition (ostatic.com)
- Google Buys Motorola (indienation.fm)
- RIAA goes after ReDigi for selling “used” iTunes tracks (electronista.com)
- T-Mobile may be part of Google Music launch (news.cnet.com)
Another Lawsuit, to Pay for a Lawsuit
I have often said that the current music industry is a dinosaur, many have. I often use terms such as “new media order” and “new business model“. It is obvious that I feel the way the big boys play is obsolete and I am not alone in that feeling.
TechDirt brought this interesting story to my notice. A band, the Kaiser Chiefs, is allowing their fans to design their own album. The band is releasing a digital only album online at their website. The release consists of 20 songs and the purchaser can pick any 10, arrange them in any order and then a custom album cover is created based on the choices made. In my opinion, this is a great example of taking advantage of what I always call the new medial order. This pick and choose idea is a great way to satisfy the masses who often complain that they only want certain songs off an album.
I did just a tad bit of digging on this one because the abused phrase “never look a gift horse in the mouth” originally entered my head as I read it. The phrase originated in and era when horses were commonly used in trade and, big surprise, gifts. In that era, according to this little post, it would have been rude or stupid, when gifted such, to look into the mouth of the animal to determine it’s age and value. I wonder how a punch, kick or a cattle prod would go over?
According to Mashable and in my opinion, The music industry did just that. At first, it may seem like a stretch, however, I beg to argue that it is not. While Apple may be announcing the securing of cloud deals with labels and launching as soon as June 6, what sense does it make for an industry, supposedly in trouble, to chop off 100 M? Mashable is reporting that Bloomberg Business stated that Google was willing to pay 100 million to the four major labels for cloud license. Apparently the labels were concerned about the fact that Google often points to video and music that violates copyright and the talks broke down.
I think it parallels the gift horse analogy pretty well and I am sure that the Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity would have not only punched the horse but would certainly take the next step and sue it, it’s owner, the local blacksmith and the company that sold the owner the grain.
Sticking with the pun, they are also putting the cart before the horse. Even if Google did somehow completely stop linking to copyright infringing material, does the industry not realize that some other search engine would still link to said content? If the industry claims it losing billions per year to illegal downloading, why not take the 100 million and let the search giant create the legal cloud service? Seriously, Google is big time and business smart. Does the industry not understand that if Google had a legal service would it not follow to tweak it’s search results to point to it’s own money maker? Perhaps the industry doesn’t get that because, at least in my lifetime, they have specialized in business models to drive away their few remaining customers.
A post over at Boing! Boing! points to a disturbing article. Wired is reporting that a California Senate Bill has already passed two committees. This bill would make it legal for warrentless searches of CD and DVD plants legal. The MPAA and the RIAA, in true form, are backing this bill. The RIAA claims that 90 % of counterfeiting is done is such plants and that the sunshine state has 70 such facilities. This author must note that the RIAA does not have a, shall we say, an undisputed track record regarding mathematics.
It was previously reported that the recording industry (RIAA or Racketeering Idiots Association of Absurdity) was not going to give any of the money awarded in the recent LimeWire settlement to the artists. The story at The Huffington Post referenced a post at Torrent Freak and reading it today it reminds me of the news re-writes in 1984. Strangely the Huffinton Post now claims that the Torrent Freak article was incorrect. The original Torrent Freak article reads:
RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy previously told TorrentFreak that the ‘damages’ accrued from piracy-related lawsuits will not go to any of the artists, but towards funding more anti-piracy campaigns. “Any funds recouped are re-invested into our ongoing education and anti-piracy programs,” he said.
Hmmm…. seems like a pretty clear to me. Based on the track record of the RIAA have any artist actually received anything from these lawsuits? Remember they announced the end of the “sue em all” campaign? Now if they announced the end of it, why do they need to “re-invest” any of the settlement money? It seems that what he previously said was taken out of context… Or is it just being re-written?