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ARSCLIST  August 2008

ARSCLIST August 2008

Subject:

Re: Sony, BMG and the health of the music biz

From:

"Steven C. Barr" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 8 Aug 2008 21:39:47 -0400

Content-Type:

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see end...
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> The whole problem with these non-standard copyright limits is that the 
> major music companies use the U.S. standard with their vaults. So, sure 
> you might be able to buy some two-bit semi-pirate version of something 
> elsewhere in the world but it's a POS made off a dub of a commercial 
> release and it's not even worth owning due to the crap sound quality. For 
> instance, compare the old Bix/Tram/Big Tea stuff on the Mosaic set, which 
> is properly remastered from the best sources available, to the junk 
> floating around cheap outside the US (most of it obtainable via Amazon). 
> The other versions aren't worth owning if you care about sound quality.
>
> My argument, posed any time I can get the ear of a music-company exec, is 
> that in this age of "long-tail" economics, the vaults and digital 
> downloads are the ultimate annuity business model. There should be NOTHING 
> out of print, anywhere in the world -- anything that's not viable as a 
> manufactured CD should be sold online. And, if the music companies would 
> get a clue, they'd realize they are getting ripped off by iTunes and 
> should sell directly to the public, and learn this business model because 
> it is their future. I think, with quality downloads priced cheaply 
> combined with smart buys of Google search "landings" and the like, the 
> major companies would marginalize the semi-pirate crap around the world 
> and thus protect their brands by having good sound associated with their 
> copyright-owned material. Plus, this would provide a steady annuity stream 
> of revenue. Sure, the Wall Street sharks want quarterly fireworks, but 
> that's what the latest POS from Britney is for. Meanwhile, they'd have 
> this fallback base of steady annuity income from the downloads of their 
> massive back-catalogs. Furthermore, in some non-U.S. markets, the very 
> fact that a legitimate, real-deal from-the-master version of something is 
> readily available can be used to shut down the pirates and even renew 
> copyrights in some countries. Some in the music companies are starting to 
> see this light but turning the mentality of these companies is like 
> turning around an aircraft carrier. If the music companies keep losing 
> value and market cap, someone like Apple, Microsoft or Google will snap 
> one of them up and open up the vaults for cheap downloads. It's the 
> inevitable future, clear to anyone except the people running the music 
> giants.
>
Well, in my case...me being "'bout half deef," as my grandma would have 
said...the sound
quality (also, keep in mind I'm USED to "78's"...!) is pretty well 
indiscernable to me...?!
The other point is that the reissued material I buy on CD is generally old 
blues, jazz or
country recordings, which in a "best-case scenario" are often taken from old 
existing
78's...often in "less than E+" condition...! (and, of course "MONO!").

BTW, here in Canada (and in the UK, and so far, Europe...?!)...these CD's 
are
"semi-pirate" only in the sense that they take advantage of copyright terms 
that
are noticeably less than that of the US of A (aka "Forever, plus at least 25 
more
years!"). However, they DO make available to me recordings which I (a)
DON'T own...(b) don't EVER EXPECT to own...and, (c) probably don't
know ANYONE who owns...!

Yes, it's "lo-fi"...but its "fi" was pretty low to begin with (especially 
for acoustic
originals...!)...and MY poor, battered "ear-bones" are rather "lo-fi" 
themselves...?!

I guess this is one reason I should be happy I'm NOT a collector of 
classical
recordings...?!

Steven C. Barr 

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