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Staging an Intervention

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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.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.theamericanmind.com Sean Hackbarth

    I just don’t see how a business can compete with free. Especially when the trading networks only have value because of copyrighted music. iTunes or some future online download business may offer everything music lovers want, but if there’s free available people will may even put up with poorer features.

  • Eric Olsen

    People will pay a reasonable amount for reliability, legality, branding, quality – look at bottled water.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    Water is a great example, Eric. We get all our water delivered that way to our home and business (to the tune of almost $100 a month). We even cook with it. I don’t think what comes out of our tap, purified or not, is very good for one’s health and I’ve read lots of reports about how dehydrated most human beings are these days.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    R.I.P. RIAA. We’ve all read in our history books how agrarian society resisted the industrial age. And we know what happened to those who failed to adapt. It is no different here. The RIAA will have no choice but to join the modern world sooner or later. I just hope it is the former for all of our collective sakes. We can, we will, we must break up the cartel.

  • Eric Olsen

    In the real world, at this stge of the game at least three years after the cat left the bag, the genie left the bottle and the toothpaste left the tube, it isn’t about morality or legality, it’s about business, and either the industry will adapt or it will die. If 60 million people do something, it becomes “right” even if it is “wrong.” The key is to recognize this and take advantage of it, or join the Luddites in the dumpster of history.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Like Clint Eastwood said – all good marines must adapt and improvise or die!!!!!