Music services may have other issues lurking beneath the copyright mess, explained panelists at the SF Music Tech Summit on Monday. Because a few large companies are dominant access points, they can have the ability to exert a great deal of control over music companies.
For example, Facebook frequently changes its rules, explained Topspin Media's Jan D'Alessandro. To stay within these rules, service providers need to make sure they are operating on safe ground.
"One of the recent changes they made is that you cannot incentivize users to take any action on Facebook. For instance, you can't say, 'Become a friend and we'll give you something for free.'" That means brands, artists and labels need to be careful how they structure promotions and giveaways. "They're very powerful and they're very aware of that power."
Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School and Durie Tangri concurred with Olin. "As we move to a couple of platforms that you really have to be on in order to succeed on the Internet, the difficulty becomes you can suddenly just not be there anymore."