Feeds

Napster-style sites to cost music biz $3.1bn by 2005

And lawsuits wont stop punters

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Napster-like sites will cost record labels $3.1 billion by 2005.

And what's more, lawsuits against these sites that use music piracy won't stop punters using them. That's according to a report by Forrester Research, which says book publishers are also in the firing line - they can expect to lose around $1.5 billion by the same year.

"Consumers have spoken - they demand access to content by any means necessary," said Eric Scheirer, an analyst at Forrester. "Neither digital security nor lawsuits will stop Internet theft of content."

But this doesn't mean death for the music and publishing industries - instead it will cause a shift in their power structures.

Scheirer reckons it is up to traditional publishers to change their act rather than fight the sites - "regardless of whether they consider Napster right or wrong".

"They must create compelling services with the content consumers want, in the formats they want, using the business models they want," he said.

Forrester quizzed 50 entertainment companies in the fields of music, film, books, videos and TV for the "Content out of Control" report. Execs interviewed warned they would try to use DRM technology to stop file sharing, and said they would sue dotcoms and customers that infringed their copyrights.

But this approach is doomed, according to Forrester. DRM can't prevent filesharing, while business models that depend on controlling content will push customers away.

"Consumers don't want business rules or restrictive technology - and it only takes one person to break down the security barriers and share content on the Net. Lawsuits will only succeed in driving consumers to underground Internet services like Gnutella and Freenet," said Scheirer.

"There will always be a market for content. But as control over distribution slips away from major publishers, a lot of the money they're making today will instead be earned by artists and service vendors," he added.

In order to survive, the report advises entertainment companies to change into service organizations and develop service offerings for punters and artists. They will need production and promotion skills to find, develop, and market independent artists, while they'll also have to sell their expertise in production, editorial services, and cross-channel brand building.

In Napster-related news, the site seems to be causing bickering at the highest levels in the US. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the anti-Microsoft Republican, this month wrote to a federal appeals court regarding a brief filed by the Department of Justice and the US copyright office slagging off the song-swapping service. The letter, sent to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, apparently stated that these views did not represent the opinion of the whole US government.

Meanwhile, some bands are taking matters into their own hands to foil fans downloading their records on the Net for free. Canadian group Barenaked Ladies has started distributing a bunch of impostor files which when downloaded do not contain its tunes but are actually an advertisement for its latest album. ®

Related Stories

MP3.com bans hacker song
Napster brief slams RIAA tactics
US patent office dismisses key Napster defence
Metalica lawyer tells colleges to block Napster
Napster fan hacks 50 more sites

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.