Large-swinging-gonads entertainment lawyer Fred Goldring is either a Blogcritics reader or he has been rooting around in my brain - for his sake I hope it's the former. But anyway, he's a real smart guy and in his editorial in Billboard (unfortunately not available to the public) entitled "Taking Issue: Abandon The 'Shock And Awe' Tactics: An Eight-Step Recovery Program For A Healthier Music Industry," he proposes an intervention:
- I suggest to our industry the following eight-step recovery program:
1) Admit you're powerless; accept the reality of your situation. File sharing is not going away. Downloading is already more popular than the CD.
It will continue to grow more popular every day, and nothing is going to change that - not litigation, not the Apple iTunes store, not amnesty programs and certainly not better parenting or after-school programs.
2) Give up on anti-piracy technologies. They don't work. They won't stop copying and distribution. They'll only make your products less appealing to your prospective paying customers.
3) Stop attacking your own customers. Besides being bad P.R., it's bad business. Remember, you're hoping to sell music to the same "thieves" that you're now suing.
Look at this "problem" as an opportunity to turn the majority of music fans who never bought records into paying customers.
4) Get out of the way, and make yourselves invisible. The music business works best when the focus is on the music and not on the business.
5) Re-order your priorities. You certainly have a right to complain about double-digit declines in sales. But you're spending way too much time pointing the finger, and you're not focused on immediate, practical, fair solutions.
6) Give the people what they want, even if it requires the laws to be changed. You aren't working to give them what they want, and that's why they're turning to services like Kazaa - not just because they're free.
7) Support initiatives that will allow unlimited access to every piece of music in the MP3 format whenever and wherever someone wants it, with no conditions or restrictions in an easy-to-use interface. People will pay for this.
8) Stop your futile efforts to change the behavior of millions of music fans. Spend all your efforts on designing a system that gets everyone paid around the overwhelming behavior that exists - and creating better records.
Sing it brother Fred - now get out of my head.