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March 30, 2005


Mike Baker

Boy, am I glad to see someone making this point out loud and in public! I think those of us who populate the "pro/am creative class" (and read this blog) tend to forget this, but the vast majority of people who know anything about MCA v. Grokster see the case in binary terms: record companies & rock stars versus music thieves and the start-ups that abet them.

No matter which way this verdict eventually goes, raising general public awareness of the fact that millions of creative people are beginning to use p2p technology--Intentionally! On purpose!--to create, distribute and promote their work (not to mention express themselves) is a big plus in my book.

I've been working with Altnet, a.k.a. Pure Evil Inc., and I've been able to promote my music and distribute tens of thousands of copies of my songs around the world--without cutting any stupid deals with the music industry. As people start to learn that there's a mechanism to discover and connect directly with amazing artists of all kinds, across the globe, far from the music industry's attempts to tell them what they're supposed to like, I think that they will do whatever it takes to gain access to that mechanism. I just hope the Supreme Court doesn't decide to criminalize them before they even take the first step.

Morten Bay

I'd like to offer another point of view, though I know it's unpopular. I've stated this before, also in debates at this site, but I think it's a very important perspective: We live now in a globalized market when it comes to distribution of digital entertainment. However, rights legislation is still not globalized, we don't even have a common system here in the EU. Now, I know that the MGM vs Grokster case will be a tremendous victory for th pro-ams, should Grokster win. However, in other parts of the world, where the outcome of this case also will have its repercussions, it might have a damaging effect. Here in Denmark, half of most artists' yearly income are perfomance rights money from live performances at venues and radio airplay, sources of income which are rather insignificant if they exist at all in the US. These funds from performance rights are dependent on the author's rights/copyright system we have. Because we're a country of 5,5 million people, the market for sales and live shows is quite limited and if the artists don't get their performance rights money, they'll have to depend on widening their market and going abroad...which means they have to abandon their native tongue of Danish, and internationalize their sound. It would be a loss of national identity that would be unbearable, and this is also the case for other small countries like Norway, the Baltics, Belgium and other countries who work on the same principle as us.

Though I wouldn't go so far as to calling it evil, as some do, I do agree that the anglo-american copyright system needs renewal and that CC licences within a P2P system point in the right direction, even if it isn't the final solution.

But please - bear in mind when you write articles that are read in the entire world, that what might be a great court case outcome for the US might be killing artists' livelyhood and the market for music with national character elsewhere.

The great ideas presented on this site is so very important the whole world. They deserve global perspectives.

Mark Davis

Kudos on an excellent article. The needs of the creative amateur, also known as the "bedroom DJ," are but one piece of a radical proposal that could induce record companies to abandon DRM and actually embrace consumer interactive music applications.

Project Camelot (see https://www.epinions.com/content_3049627780) could reverse the record industry's declining share of the home entertainment market caused both by fragmentation of the music market by other legitimate music sources, and by fragmentation of the overall home entertainment market by interactive entertainment such as the internet and video gaming.

David Palmer

Chris, good article. Thanks for speaking up for those of us that see online distribution as a way to bypass the gatekeepers and connect directly with the market.

xmas gifts

Look's like MGM's main case against file sharing is falling flat on it's face.You may be able to download from an artist who's always in the spotlight, but you can also discover new original artists who would never get a chance to share their music was it not for file sharing.I can't wait to see file sharing strike a critical victory that will show the Music industry for what it really is the music industry has shown it's true colours to the customer...so has it sealed it's own fate.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

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