I don't disagree with you one bit.
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.
-- 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
> 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
> 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
>> 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
>>> 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.