osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Turns Out There Were Alternate Business Models For Music After All.

Remember back 10 years ago when Napster v. 1.0 walked the Earth and folks prophesied the death of the music industry unless Congress passed more laws to tame the terrible Interwebs and allow rights holders to blow up people's computers? Because, after all, how do you compete with free pirated music? Without such changes in law, professional musicians were doomed!

Nor was it the studios alone who believed this. In 2000, a large number of musicians and performers -- including those who were utterly screwed over by the existing distribution system with its cartel structure -- rallied to the defense of the very studios who oppressed them. After all, you may only be getting pennies, and you may have to lick the shoes of the handful of distributors that control access to get those pennies, but at least in the system you know you had a shot at those pennies. How on Earth could professional musicians hope to compete against the Terrible Copyright Devouring Interwebs and Its Free Piracy of Doom.

Turns out, not so much. As reported in this NYT piece, musicians are discovering alternate means to distribute their music that actually generate more income for the actual performers/musicians (and spread it around among more performers). Or, as I wrote some years back, the decline in sales by major labels and the rise other means of distribution is a sign competition is working like it's supposed to and we should avoid regulation that picks winners blah blah.

Which raises the rather obvious question -- why do folks go around still believing that "you must change your business model" means "Death To The Capitalist Running Dog Pigs! Long Live the Glorious Socialist Revolution!" Businesses that are good adapt or, as in the case of cable companies and TV Anywhere, use market power to block competitors from emerging in the first place.

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