> I'm just saying that you need some profitable critcal mass to preserve
> the commercial recorded legacy of the past 100+ years.
> Nothing has so far worked better than the profit motive -- if a
> content owner perceives long-term value in his content, he will invest
> in preserving it.
I'm not sure. The good news is that a lot of that legacy was
mass-produced and so lives in many places. Some of these places
(collectors, libraries) are not profit-driven but actually perceive
value (not necessarily monetary value) in that content. I generally
trust them much more than money-driven corporations to preserve our
heritage. It is a bit like real estate: the profit drive may create most
buildings in the first place, but it cannot "see" the value of a
historic low-rise downtown when it can make more money by building a
high-rise. That is where citizen groups and/or the government step in.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Marcos Sueiro" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 9:11 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] interesting!
>> I think that the transition of music companies to licencers of
>> content is already happening, but it is unclear how they will make a
>> healthy profit if copying of content by the consumer is so easy. (Is
>> there a hacker-proof DRM? Doubtful. And, how much time and money are
>> they willing to spend policing content?)
>> Also, since corporations are in the business of making money, keeping
>> old masters only makes sense if they are profitable. Therefore we
>> cannot expect record companies to keep old recordings if they do not
>> think they will sell, no matter how supposedly historic they are (a
>> label that is vague at best). And there are quite a few horror
>> stories as well of record companies being unable to find masters in
>> their own vaults.
>> But a key point is this: current copyright restrictions do not allow
>> other sources (collectors and libraries) to make that content
>> available (free or not) for society at large. This I find pernicious.
>> The way I see it, copyright law was designed to protect a large
>> business model that just does not work any longer. It made sense when
>> a large investment was needed to create a product that could in turn
>> generate large revenue. Once record companies are gone, copyright
>> restrictions will go away.
>> I see the future music business as far more performance-oriented,
>> with the recording side as almost a promotional afterthought. It is
>> still easy to charge a cover to see a performance.
>> Tom Fine wrote:
>>> The problem is, to preserve and not lose the vast legacy of
>>> commercial music -- and I'd argue that the stuff previous to this
>>> era will have much more long-term cultural and financial value --
>>> takes some critical mass. Not that the majors have been all that
>>> good at it, but the alternative is not good and I've heard horror
>>> stories about how smaller record companies kept their archives.
>>> And how many stories do we hear just on this list about vast
>>> quantities of stuff donated to the LOC and smaller collections that
>>> is literally rotting in warehouses, never to see the public again.
>>> I think owners of content work best on a for-profit model. What I
>>> think will eventually happen is that music companies will be just
>>> owners and licensers of content, licensed to whatever format is
>>> distributed in whatever way. Their manufacturing and distribution
>>> businesses will be more and more asset-draining albatrosses. Steve
>>> Jobs' statement bears reading because, although of course it's
>>> designed to bolster Apple's case against the EU nannies, it touches
>>> on a lot of areas where I think his future visions are accurate.
>>> Back to your point, Marcos, my fear would be that if Big Music
>>> totally blew up, a lot of great historic recordings would fall into
>>> the pits of hell, never to be heard again in any format.
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Marcos Sueiro"
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 8:15 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] interesting!
>>>> I'm going to get whipped for this, but I'll say it anyway: I don't
>>>> see what is so terrible if large large record companies simply
>>>> disappear. Music has been around much longer than the recording
>>>> industry, so I do not think that the quality of music itself would
>>>> suffer. And certainly there must be other business models for
>>>> musicians to make a living without having to feed a huge machine
>>>> that often sucked their blood, especially now that the means to
>>>> record music are available to so many. Big Music generated lots of
>>>> money for over a century, but only a very small proportion of all
>>>> musicians saw that money. Perhaps Big Music is just not good for
>>>> music anymore.
>>>> Tom Fine wrote:
>>>>> So, even though I'm no fan of Big Music, they have a point in all
>>>>> of this. If the owners of the copyright material -- descendants of
>>>>> those who put up money to record the old stuff and current funders
>>>>> of new material -- cannot get a return on their investment, they
>>>>> do not have a business model. So in that case nothing can be made
>>>>> available because it's a money-losing proposition and companies
>>>>> are not in business to lose money.