CASPER PARTOVI, Wednesday
agree with Reebee's first assumption regarding the manufacture and distribution
of music in digital form (and to dispel any misgivings about lawyer
double-speak, I'll agree 100%).
stay true to the name of our group here, I'll chime in about the Napster
case. The law, as always, favors established property interestsin
this case the record industry's copyrights. Although it's not good practice
to predict decisions from the 9th circuit court of appeals, the general
consensus is that the court will rule against Napster and in favor of
A&M Records and the co-plaintiffs. As Reebee rightly points out
the industry will win such court decisions in the early phase. Clearly,
Napster is challenging the very underpinnings of our conceptions of
property, and the legal system is designed to drastically retard that
rate of any change to the status quo (the balance Reebee refers to in
the fourth paragraph is very slow to tilt toward public rights of access
to property). However, the industry ultimately will not succeed in eliminating
threats to its current distribution mechanism posed by Napster, et al.
because as a practical matter, the current distribution channels for
the industry are obsolete.
I would suggest that the industry doesn't need the protection of the
courts for long. Already it's clear that companies traditionally in
the business of music content and distribution are establishing footholds
that will enable them to take advantage of the internet distribution
model (witness the Time
Warner AOL merger. Companies can adapt to new business models more
quickly than the law can recognize new concepts of property. The brief
respite granted the industry by these early court decisions will likely
be sufficient for the industry to adapt to the new model. By the time
the law struggles to recognize the concepts of property being proposed
by Napster, I'm inclined to believe that the industry will have retooled
itself to fully exploit these new possibilities. The industry players
today will most likely continue to dominate distribution-though we may
be hard pressed to recognize it as the same industry.
the time the law struggles to recognize the concepts of property
being proposed by Napster, I'm inclined to believe that the industry
will have retooled itself to fully exploit these new possibilities."
control of the industry over content, of course, is another matter.
The Offspring "agreement" with Sony only highlights the extent to which
content providers are dependent on the record companies. (I'm curious
to hear if anyone believes that this dependence will be reduced or eliminated
with the new distribution model.)
to follow Bob's point #1, I think the "good" v. "bad" technology (as
it related to control over content) accurately describes pre-internet/napster
music business. I would suggest the criteria for the new model will
be control over the process of music consumption (i.e. whose hoops
the consumer has to jump through in order to get the musical product).