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Oblivion awaits
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-10-22
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: p2pnet.net/MusicDish - October 9, 2002

It's easy to fail in e-business. What's hard is failing magnificently, and the Big Five music-recording companies have been transcendent in this respect, says Canadian newspaper columnist Jack Kapica.

Writing for The Globe and Mail, he says their combined efforts have gone beyond killing their e-businesses and are, in fact, "close to destroying an entire industry".

Listing rules of e-business failure inspired by the recording industry, among other things, Kapica says anyone trying to emulate the Fulsome Five's transcendence should ignore the Internet: "If you can't imagine any way of making money on-line, then no one else can either. Act surprised when the Internet starts to carry multimedia. Cry, 'Who knew?' and insist the whole multimedia thing was invented only to ruin your business."

He suggests they should be sanctimonious, as well: "Claim to be more concerned about the artists than about your profits. You are selfless; your only interest is paying the musicians, without whom you would be nothing. Pray that nobody remembers countless rockers who signed away their souls on recording contracts and were dumped the moment their sales started slipping."

Kapica also thinks anyone wanting to fall in line with record label failure successes (to coin a phrase ; ) should misunderstand their market: "When you count the songs being swapped on peer-to-peer networks, do not notice that most are moldy oldies. It's still theft, you argue, even if you yourself stopped paying royalties for those songs in 1961. Blame piracy, not taste, for your inability to sell new songs that no radio station will play. Lie: Go on Kazaa, count the MP3 versions of songs you produced, old and new, and multiply that number by the current retail price of a CD; howl that you are losing a fortune. Forget that a Buddy Holly album sold for $2.95 in 1958; you sell records for much more now, and that's the price you use when calculating your losses - it's more impressive."

And he says paying lawyers has suddenly become more important than paying artists, but so what? The labels can always hedge their bets by setting up their own web sites offering songs that, "aren't selling well in stores". And when their e-business flops, blame it on the pirates - "meaning all your customers" and after calling them "pirates," antagonize them further by threatening to release a flood of "empty" MP3 files to frustrate swapping.

"Do not understand the technical reasons why this won't work," he adds. "Threaten to hack into the P2P networks, like real criminals. Forget that some of these networks are based in foreign countries, which (for reasons you also cannot understand) do not subscribe to your system of justice. Then say you will launch denial-of-service attacks on pimply-faced file-swappers, even if they live in those other countries. Make government your accomplice: Demand exemptions from criminal prosecution by the U.S. government for your hacking and denial-of-service attacks.


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