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> 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,

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.

Marcos
>
> -- 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!
>
>
>> Tom,
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> Marcos
>>
>> 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.
>>>>
>>>> Marcos
>>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>>
>>