Category Archives: regulation

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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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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One Music Copyright Can Be Better Than Two

Music copyright was developed in nineteenth century France as a response to an obvious unfairness. Bars and restaurants could hire musicians to entertain their customers, raising sales and profits. The restaurant owner benefited, the musicians got paid, but the composers … Continue reading

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Change How We Think First, Technology Second

Many years ago I was asked to discuss with the board of a trade association how the music industry was changing. One prominent executive summed up by saying “complexity has served us well”. A few days ago Spotify’s James Duffett-Smith … Continue reading

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The World Is Singing A New Song

We live in an age of everyday activism, with every purchase an expression of values as well as needs. Ideas about fairness go far beyond the impact of certified fair trading schemes; they permeate consumer marketing. Social media drives a radical transparency in … Continue reading

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Europe’s Digital Single Market is Good for Music

Accustomed as music companies are to territorial licensing, pricing, windowing, and marketing it is understandable that there should be at least scepticism if not outright hostility to the European Union’s Digital Single Market strategy. Swedes with an average GDP (PPP) … Continue reading

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The Dog in the Manger

Nobody ever claims to have contributed to a traffic jam, despite all the evidence around them when they are doing so. And clearly had they not contributed, the jam would have been less of a delay for everyone, especially them. … Continue reading

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The US Net Neutrality Debate; Sleepwalking into Walled Gardens

Being an outsider to the US Net Neutrality debate, I don’t feel the pain of cable monopoly, or the blight caused by expensive and poor quality broadband. Over here in the UK we hear more about Verizon FiOS and Google … Continue reading

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Record Companies Should Give Up a Hard Won Right. Here’s Why.

When the recording industry was young there was a genuine concern that it might be strangled at birth by owners of popular songs, who might naturally wish to protect their sheet music sales and public performance fees from competition from … Continue reading

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