Feeds

How the music biz can live forever, get even richer, and be loved

A modest proposal

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

[Earlier this week Register San Francisco bureau chief Andrew Orlowski spoke at the In the City convention in the UK, telling the cream of the music industry it's never had it so good, that it's been swindled by the technologists, and that it should dump DRM and embrace freedom. As, to our knowledge, he got out alive, we think it's possible they listened just a little. What follows is the text of his speech. -Editors]

You're very lucky people.

Like the sex industry, you're in a business where demand is guaranteed. A lot of other people wish they had your problems. What a stroke of good fortune!

Think about it - you're in a happier situation than the Peterloo demonstrators who rioted here, and the imperialists who later built this hall. Trade routes and markets disappear. You're also in a better position than any technology company I know. Even IBM and Microsoft - two official monopolies - need to invest a lot of money to keep their captive customers happy, and neither can be sure they'll be here in twenty years, without a lot of stoking and a lot of stroking. Meanwhile, you're sitting on a goldmine, and no one is going to take it away from you.

Why?

We create music in order to share it.

We've been sharing it for thousands of years. And people pay to hear it. Since the invention of transmission and recording technology you've been able to monetize this desire, and build an industry on it.

But your anxieties about monetizing music in the future are justified. Things are going to get a lot worse. Most of you know how bad. I'm talking today because in five years of reporting from Silicon Valley on these issues, the technology people have failed to tackle the issues. For me, they lost the moral authority when they argued that Napster should be legalized and when asked "How do you pay the rights holders?" answered, "That's not our problem". All scientists bear some responsibility for what they create. Secondly the music industry has now started to sue people for enjoying music. It needs to remember that it's in the music business. And thirdly, no one believes in the "cure" that's supposed to solve these problems. It isn't sustainable.

The Silver Dollar model - 99 cents a song downloads - assumes that there's next to no leakage from ripping, that everyone is going to pay for every song they listen to.

I can see why you like that. I can see why you've signed up to a model in which the online retailer takes four cents out of that 99 cents - so only you or the device manufacturers can afford to be retailers. That's very clever. But good luck trying to stop today's leakage, because tomorrow's will be even worse. It's a bump in the road - because in five or ten years you'll still own the recordings.

Why will the current Apple/Napster model fail?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.