[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Slagging Over Sagging CD Sales

I've been amazed at the posturing of the music industry decrying declines
in sales of CD's for the past year, with no other reason suggested for the
decline than individuals pirating music. I wonder if they had a recession
like most of the rest of the world? If they suffered from it, they
certainly don't mention it could have had any impact on their sales. Was
their product less worth listening too? Any industry that treats its
primary customers as thieves will probably lose many customers. Have they
made their primary customers so mad they are boycotting their products? Or
is it just that customers want a lot more variety than the industry is
willing to provide? When I talk with 20 somethings what I hear is they get
bored with the same old same old very quickly with regards to commercial
music. What do music industry customer surveys tell them about their
products?? What needs changed from their end of the business? Is it cost,
is it distribution models, is it content? Is it the customer's economic
situation? Those are the kinds of questions most industries ask when their
sales fall. But not our friends in the IP empire. -they brand their
customers thieves and threaten to put them in jail.

With such self-serving press releases, its hard to have much sympathy for
an industry that is so willing to point the finger at someone else at the
same time they are demanding congress step in and somehow save them from
the consequences of their own behavior. I'm sure we've all noticed that
while DVD's of feature films cost significantly less to the purchaser than
video tapes, CD's of music cost much more than cassettes. Has the movie
industry learned from music's mistakes? The music industry continues to
make the same mistakes, and is trying to enshrine their rigid reliance on
old distribution models through new laws.

More seriously, they are becoming the model for all other IP empire
distribution. That's not only scary, it trumps concerns of public domain,
fair use, and in the end, common sense expectation of purchasers--


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Anderson [mailto:rickand@unr.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 5:29 AM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: Slagging Over Sagging CD Sales

> Publishers are acting to make their publications available
> to posterity. Is there any evidence that they are preventing fair use?

You bet, or at least many of them are trying to.  Almost every license
agreement I negotiate includes language that restricts the end-user's
behavior to a greater degree than fair use would allow.  And Chuck, along
with many others, is right in pointing out that the music industry is
working hard to impose restrictions on music buyers that go well beyond
those defined by fair use.  The question is to what degree that's
appopriate.  That's a serious question, one that we librarians can
probably help to answer if we're willing to get serious.  Getting serious
does not, I submit, consist in indulging in the kind of adolescent
info-utopian rah-rah that we read in LJ every month.  Nor does it mean
putting scare quotes around the concept of intellectual property and then
acting as if we've formulated an actual argument.  Our profession is
marginalized in this conversation already, and the problems are being
solved by others.  I think that's really unfortunate.

Rick Anderson
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno