Thursday, 7 October 2004

Big day in eye-patch land

There's a couple of things in the news today music-wise and they're at polar ends of the spectrum.

Firstly, indie label !K7 have decided not only to release CDs without copy protection, but to tout the fact on the CDs and on their website. Rightly so they claim, "Copy protection kills customer relationships."

Their website furthers this by stating, "That's why, from now on, !K7 releases will carry a new logo: 'NO copy protection - respect the music."

To be fair, indie labels have had an easier time of the whole industry downturn, mainly because they haven't been releasing karaoke-winners as their priority releases. It's also due to the niche nature of the indie label, and the fact that they appeal to actual music fans (who NEED to own the vinyl or CD) more than the Woolworth-buying public that lives on "Now That's What I Call Music" compilations because they can't remember song titles.

The other news is that the BPI is meeting today to announce how they're going to screw music fans out of more money legally. Basically it involves suing anyone who's downloaded, uploaded, whistled, etc. their favourite tunes.

Deflating the BPI's bubble ever so slightly, the NME article contains quotes from lead Franz Ferdinand Alex Kapranos who claims that song swapping and P2P were instrumental in getting Franz Ferdinand the level of popularity they enjoy now. Oops.

"File-sharing is something that has really helped us as a band in getting established. When Franz Ferdinand played a gig in New York for the first time, a lot of people there already knew our songs and were singing along.

"For us it has been global word of mouth that has helped our progress, not hindered it. I don't think it is damaging musicians at all. Downloading music is as revolutionary an invention as the gramophone and I'm all for it."

Oh well, the BPI knows best. Just like the RIAA. Just make sure you're sons and daughters are locked up and kept away from the PC, because chances are they haven't taken 3-4 years of law courses yet, so won't realise that downloading the theme to "The Magic Roundabout" will result in mum and dad losing the house.

-- Link: BBC

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