Comment 32976

By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted August 21, 2009 at 08:25:06

Excerpt from a June 13th New York Times article about Canadian music piracy. (with a twist ending!)

" "Canadian Pirates" is what the music dealers call publishing houses across the line who are flooding this country, they say, with spurious editions of the latest copy-righted popular songs. They use the mails to reach purchasers, so members of the American Music Publishers' Association assert, and as a result the legitimate music publishing business of the United States has fallen off 50 percent."

What's the twist you ask? Well that article was written June 13, 1897 and is about Canadian piracy of sheet music. Replace "the mails" with BitTorrent and "American Music Publishers' Association" with the RIAA and it starts to sound pretty familiar.

The recording industry survived sheet music piracy in the 1890's, it survived home taping in the 1980's and it survived all the people selling their old vinyl, 8 tracks and cassettes at garage sales and flea markets in between. I have no doubt that it will survive the MP3 as well.

Media companies will adapt their business models to change with the times, granted the times are a changing a hell of a lot faster than they used to, and some companies will fail because of it but eventually a steady state will develop. (Personally if I were a label exec, I'd start setting my company up as more of an events promoter and make the bulk of my money from unpirateable concerts and merchandise and use the music as more of a promotional tool.)

Here's a link to the full article for anyone interested:

And this goes to the full page (this article is 5th from the left):

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