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I'm sure more than few big name acts have taken notice of the success of Radiohead who made millions more than expected by cutting out the middleman and delivered a less expensive product to their fans. Going to be quite a few more jumping ship as those contracts run out.
Record companies are scared, because only they will lose out. Customers are paying less, and artists are making more. Who cares about the middle men leeching their pocket money from truly talented people?
but how are brand new artists going to get all of that? they'll have to pay for it out of their own pocket. you'll always get a lucky few who can launch themselves on the internet, like the arctic monkeys, but 99% will still have to sign up to record companies.
If the large corporations marketing these artists ceased to exist tomorrow there is still going to be bands that become popluar but by other means. You'll have bands that made it on merit alone instead of what some executive decided is to be popular.
What you really need is a shift in the way consumers get their music, instead of being blindly told what is good they need to go out and explore whats out there. You're going to have artists now that have grown up with the intenet and I think that will have great influence on how they decide to market themselves.
As I suggested I think many big name acts are going to jump ship and hopefully that trend continues downward through the ranks.
The main role the labels play is deciding what is going to be the next 'good', and paying commercial stations to play their chosen tracks every 20 minutes.
Without this, radio stations and DJ's would have free choice. It would take longer for bands to become popular, but it would still happen.
They will have to look to other revenue channels and they know that.
[edited by: Jon_King at 9:52 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2008]
Is the RIAA now using spyware to look at your computer, or what?
Fortunately, I live in Canada, where passive downloading of music is still legal, and also we have no DMCA or equivalent. Both the Liberals and Conservative government tried to introduce DMCA type bills, but fortunately, the bills were withdrawn after public outcry.
... and another thing.
There are some albums that I have purchased 3 times now, the vinyl, the cassette and then the cd. If they expect me to buy it again in the form of a digital download they must be sniffing glue.
This IMO is the real reason for DRM, preventing piracy is just a bonus. The moneymaker for these companies has always been reselling the same content. With the advent of digital it could last forever, slap some DRM on it and you give it "shelf life".
"The Washington Post story is wrong," said Jonathan Lamy, an RIAA spokesman. "As numerous commentators have since discovered after taking the time to read our brief, the record companies did not allege that ripping a lawfully acquired CD to a computer or transferring a copy to an MP3 player is infringement. This case is about the illegal distribution of copyrighted songs on a peer-to-peer network, not making copies of legally acquired music for personal use."
The Washington Post has backed off a story that erroneously accused the recording industry of trying to criminalize ripping CDs to a computer.
The Post issued a correction Saturday, more than a week after the paper triggered a wave of media coverage by claiming that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was trying to outlaw the very common practice of copying music from a CD onto a computer or iPod.
It's interesting how this story was dealt with. It could have been cleared up quite quickly, without all the fuss.