Monday, December 06, 2004

Changing Their Tune: Despite the high profile whining by Metallica's Lars Ulrich and the RIAA, most musicians don't mind if people download their music for free, according a study. It seems eternal song swapping online does little to affect the bottom line for musicians, and most are happy that their work is getting circulated.

The recording industry, and now the movie industry, is still going to fight online file sharing tooth and nail. But they're going to lose. The technology is out there for everybody to trade music, so it's best that they accept the change and learn how to make it work for them.

Besides, trading songs online is no different than making a copy of an album onto a blank tape, which people have done for decades. People can hear anything they want for free on the radio already. The Internet is just a new medium.

And like the first VCR, the creative industries will scream and shout that they'll go bankrupt if new technology is allowed to exist. The movie industry tried to shut down the Betamax VCR, even fighting all the way to the Supreme Court. But the Court, in its wisdom, ruled against the movie industry, allowing a revolution of watching movies at home. And now the movie industry makes more money from VHS and DVD sales than box office tickets. It's time for them to find a way to do the same thing with online technology.


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