Will they ever learn?

posted in: Stuff, Tech 1

The big media companies and their cronies are getting more and more desperate to try save their totally outdated business model. Modern computers make it ridiculously easy and cheap to copy and distribute any media. The media companies are however trying very hard to overcharge people for what they can do very easily themselves. Most people know that it is illegal to make unauthorised copies of copyrighted materials, but if the holders of the copyright charge way too much and chances are that you will not get caught people will simply copy the material illegally.

They now have also started to get governments to implement so called “three strike” laws to prevent people from downloading music, movies etc from the internet. These laws work like this:
Illegal downloaders will be warned that they better stop, by sending them an e-mail, followed by a letter, and eventually go as far as cutting off their internet connection. Hence the three strikes denomination.

It is of course quite easy to stay relatively anonymous on the internet and services like Pirate Bay are already offering ways to work around these new laws.

There are however people that figured out how to make use of the new technologies to distribute media and still make decent money. Jamendo is one of these companies. All music on Jamendo is free to download and licensed through one of several Creative Commons licenses or the Free Art License, making it legal to copy and share, as well as to modify and make commercial use of for some, depending on the license. Jamendo allows streaming of all of its thousands of albums in either Ogg Vorbis or MP3 format, and downloads through the BitTorrent and eDonkey networks. Jamendo also helps musicians to commercialise their music via their Jamendo Pro services.

On 23 March Jamendo published an ironic statement against the “Three strikes” laws. It is called “Three strikes vs. three thanks”. In a nutshell – they will reward people for downloading music, instead of punishing them showing “…that there are plenty of talented artists who know how to profit from the opportunities offered by the internet and embrace innovative monetization models…” Hopefully many more artists will join them.

BTW if you are in Johannesburg and want to hear a really great band that publish all their music under a creative commons license, NUL are playing at the Bohemian tonight 4/4/2009.

  1. Martin Orton
    | Reply

    Interesting read. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (NIN) [http://www.nin.com] also gives his music away for free after he dropped his label. Obviously his older music catalogue is still subjected to some copyright and contractual terms of his label. However it was an ugly divorce between him and Interscope. In actual fact, he is also very pro ‘free music for the masses’.

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