This week I received two e-mails that provide an example of why the music industry is in trouble.
The lawyers for the music industry, clearly using automated software to seek out people who might be violating their trademarks and copyrights, informed Google (owners of Blogger) and Mediafire (a company that hosts my e-book) that I was in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for embedding a video from YouTube. I was also apparently breaking the law by offering “direct links to files for other users to download containing sound recordings”, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
The trouble is I don’t provide links to illegally download music through the blog or through the e-book. The embedded YouTube video might be an issue, so instead of the embedded video I simply posted a link back to YouTube. Problem solved.
But there’s a bigger problem.
That problem is that the music industry continues to spend millions of dollars each year trying to shut off the valve of free-flowing music, and only really serve to piss off the very people they want as customers.
By getting to the point where they are targeting me, they are now targeting people who simply observe the music industry and comment on it. The message I’m getting is that I can’t even be interested in the music industry without getting into trouble with the law.
The music industry is pouring water into a bucket with a giant hole in the bottom.
Their profit margins are shrinking, and their legal costs are ballooning.
They continue to fight the reality that their business model is dead instead of changing the business model.
The Grateful Dead understood all of this stuff 40 years ago, and they were perpetually under the influence of various substances. If stoned musicians can grasp the future, why is it so tough for lawyers and music industry executives? What are they smoking?
I don’t have the answers for the music industry, but it seems to me that attempting to preserve the old business model is pointless. The future for record companies is in music discovery, music promotion, live touring, merchandising, and music exploration. It isn’t in protecting themselves from bloggers like me who are passionate about the music and the bands.