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-- Mick Jagger on digital piracy: “I am quite relaxed about it. But, you know, it is a massive change and it does alter the fact that people don't make as much money out of records. But I have a take on that - people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When the Rolling Stones started out, we didn't make any money out of records because record companies wouldn't pay you! They didn't pay anyone! Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone. So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the time they didn't.”
Jagger is dead right – the combination of the album and the CD created an incredible run for artists and labels. But revenues would eventually return to where they started.
As you may recall, a few weeks ago I compared the decline of recorded music sales in the 2000s to previous periods in which formats were dying and being born. In “A Better Perspective on 10 Years of Revenue Declines” I encouraged people to compared sales in 2009 to years other than 1999 and 2000. “Comparing the late 2000s to the late 1990s incongruently matches an industry between product cycles (the decline of CD and the rise of digital) to an industry at the apex of the CD’s product cycle,” I wrote. “Even though the late ‘90s was the high point for recorded music revenue, it was an aberration. The CD was an unusually successful format the likes of which will not be seen again soon.” (BBC News)
-- In a post written for tech blog Gizmodo, actor Peter Serafinowicz explains why he illegally downloads movies. An excerpt: “[O]ften you can't do it legally: I recently wanted to show my son Disney's classic Jungle Book and intended to get it on iTunes. Unfortunately, it is currently incarcerated within The Disney Vault. So I'm afraid I simply DL'ed a pixel-clear pirate copy which arrived in seconds. My moral justification for this? I once bought the VHS. It's your own vault, Disney!” He had the same justification for installing scripts that will illegally decrypt Adobe ebooks: he had paid for that book twice already (one in print and one in ebook format).
This is a good post on the complicated business of digital downloads and piracy. He brings up the annoying problem of being unable to legally acquire content that is readily available in other territories. And Serafinowicz is especially effective because he has even illegally downloaded his television show. Who better to empathize with both sides of the debate? (Gizmodo)
-- Rolf Scmidt-Holtz, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, is a founding shareholder in Hanse Ventures, a new German incubator that will invest in German Internet startups. Jochen MaaB, founder of Internet marketing firm, artaxo, and Sarik Weber, co-founder of Cellity, are the co-founders of Hanse Ventures. (GigaOm)
-- A Swedish appeals court has told a telecom company TeliaSonera it must hand over the names and addresses of the people behind the swetorrents.org web site. The Swedish film production and distribution company had used the country’s Ipred law to force the TeliaSonera to unveil the people behind the site that made torrents available on its home page. (The Local)
-- Music recognition service Shazam has added 25 million users in the last six months and now has 75 million registered users. It’s a welcome success story for a music app. One asterisk, however: that growth may not be entirely related to music. In recent months Shazam has branched out into television ads by allowing users to access content from the advertising brand and link to the brand’s website. The “Men Without Pants” commercial by Dockers, debuted during the last Super Bowl on February 7, was Shazam’s first foray into advertisements. You may notice a small “Shazam It” in the corner of the ad. That’s the signal that Shazam can be used to tag the music being played on screen. (Music Ally)
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