Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Digital Music Articles

I recently ran across a couple of interesting aricles/ blog posts on different aspects of digital music. First is "How I Became A Music Pirate" from the Consumerist blog. It talks about the frustration of DRM and incompatability of formats from the point of view of one person's experience buying online music. There's an interesting discussion going on in the comments as well. I think DRM is a fairly bad business model for purchased (as opposed to licensed or "rented" music) and competing player/ format issues do make buying or licensing digital music unnecessarily complicated and are generally not customer friendly. But I can also see the point that the writer should made sure that the music he was purchasing would work with his player. Mabe someday Steve Jobs will lead us from the DRM wilderness (not holding my breath) but until then it's the norm. Be an educated consumer while demanding change.

The second is "The Fate of Indie Music As We Know It" from Salon (watch the ad or give em some $$$) dealing with proposed changes in the royalty structure for streaming music and internet radio. The proposed guidelines would significantly raise the royalty percentage paid to license copyrighted materials for webcasting. The basic rate would rise from .07 cents per play to .19 cents by 2010. The article puts forth a good argument as to why this hurts both music fans and smaller artists. Ironically, the royalty rates are set by the Copyright Royalty Board of the Library of Congress. I have no idea if this means the downfall of cool sites like Pandora or not if the rates go through, but something to watch. Good comments/ blog reactions on this one too.



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