Entries Matching: Music

Where Are The Record Label Best Practices?

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RapidShare’s recent release of its new best practices for cloud storage service throws into stark relief the lengths to which online platforms will go to avoid the wrath—justified or not—of incumbent content distributors like record labels. As we watch digital distributors adopt “best practices” that go well beyond their legal obligations under copyright law to prevent copyright infringement, one obvious question comes to mind: Where are the record label best practices?

Last week RapidShare announced its new “Responsible Practices for Cloud Storage Services,” in which RapidShare promises to go above and beyond its copyright law obligations to stop infringement—and urges other cloud storage services to do the same.

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PK In The Know Podcast: Internet Blueprint, VZ/Spectrum Co., Universal/EMI, and Ripping DVDs

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On today's podcast we discuss crafting a positive post SOPA/PIPA agenda on InterentBlueprint.org, updates for Verizon/SpectrumCo., Universal buying EMI, and the new "disc to digital" program from the movie studios.

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Message to Universal: Buying Competitors Does Not Fight Piracy

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As part of its sales pitch to antitrust regulators, Universal Music Group, the largest record label in the world, is now claiming that it absolutely must buy the record label EMI in order to fight piracy. Yes, Universal is seriously claiming that the pressures of online copyright infringement are forcing it to buy one of its largest competitors in an already very consolidated market. On this point, Universal is wrong. Universal is not trying to buy EMI because it wants to fight piracy, and even if it was, this deal would likely have the exact opposite effect. The best way to fight piracy is to offer fans a quick, easy, reasonably priced legal alternative to infringement. Those consumer-friendly alternatives are much more likely to thrive when no single record label has a large enough market share to effectively veto any new service it doesn’t like. 

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OMG, UMG! Why Four Major Labels Are Better Than Three.

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Right now the biggest record label in the world, Universal Music Group, is attempting to buy the fourth-largest record label, EMI, a move that could stifle the development of new digital music services to the detriment of musicians and their fans. If one company holds a large enough share of the recorded music market, new online music services will inevitable need to curry favor with that company in order to succeed, which gives that company (here, Universal) effective veto power over new services and competitors.

Today Public Knowledge and the Media Access Project filed a letter advising the Federal Trade Commission to investigate thoroughly how the proposed transaction will affect both artists and audiences before it lets the one of the “Big Four” major labels take over another. While we are not currently asking the FTC to necessarily block the deals outright, the deals pose some serious potential harms to musicians and consumers. The FTC should rigorously review the likelihood and scale of those harms before it decides whether it should approve the acquisitions in their current form.

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