Author Archives: ratpie

Music’s Dissonant Value Gap

At the time of writing, a Google video search for ‘crushed by the wheels of industry’ delivers as its first result a YouTube upload with the plea, ‘NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED’ from a user which calls itself ‘mrrockwithmebaby’. Try it … Continue reading

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An Act for the Encouragement of…

The Statute of Anne, enacted in England in 1710, opens with a statement of intent: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning I have argued elsewhere that it succeeded. Whether by the mechanisms intended, essentially the first modern copyright, or … Continue reading

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Net Neutrality Won’t Help Music. Here’s Why…

With the best intentions, some in the music industry are adding their voices to protest the US FCC’s rollback of net neutrality regulations. Keeping them won’t help the music industry; pretending it will means the real threats to open and … Continue reading

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Three Conditions for Independent Music to Survive

A little over two years ago I set out three reasons why I thought indie music was poised for a period of cultural and commercial success. Those reasons seem still valid now, but a series of events in the indie … Continue reading

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My Platform, Right or Wrong!

It was an early hero of the United States navy, Stephen Decatur, Jr., who gave the world the dubious chant of nationalist zealots, reportedly in an after dinner toast to, Our country – in her intercourse with foreign nations, may … Continue reading

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A New Social Contract For Music

Music, in its various forms, has done quite well in the age of copyright. Digital technology has brought with it many tipping points, when old certainties give way to chaos before finding new stable states. Any new stability will rely, as … Continue reading

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Record Labels! Beware of Fake Independence!

Giant corporate groups are a fairly recent development in the music industry. The most extraordinary and wonderful music has always been produced outside the city walls by innovative and committed independent record labels. Around 40% of recorded music industry value … Continue reading

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A Fair Way to Bridge the Value Gap

The music industry says that artists, labels, and songwriters are getting a raw deal from services that allow users to upload content. The beef is that user-uploaded songs, which may generate advertising revenue for the service and the uploader, compete … Continue reading

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Pricing Music Fans in the New Data Economy

In 2003 digital artist Angie Waller released a wonderful project she called ‘Data Mining the Amazon’. Asked about it by art community Rhizome Waller offered the following: I was surprised that books about military battles and corporate takeovers pointed to the … Continue reading

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The Simple Maths of the New Music Industry

The pre-modern music industry could be navigated with some very simple maths. Bands made records, record labels sold them to shops. Wholesale revenue wasn’t that much more complicated than units x price. And what mattered to most bands was the size … Continue reading

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