Saturday, October 17, 2009

THE FOLLY OF FIGHTING PROGRESS

This isn't a tech blog, but this article in ArsTechnica really interested me. It lists various complaints by content industries (music, movies, etc.) about how new technologies were going to "kill" the industry. The composer John Phillip Sousa was worried about people owning "recorded music," and felt he deserved to get paid any time one of his compositions was listened to. Some people thought that photocopiers would make books obsolete. The film industry went ballistic over the VCR and the logo I'm using without permission here was something that the music industry used to protest recordable cassettes. Yes, I am a NARAS member, and I do believe that artists deserve to get paid, but you just can't fight progress. If you are a company or industry, you need to learn to adapt, not have to government make the technology that makes your job more challenging illegal. Now that's the ultimate bailout.

2 comments:

C. Bottomley said...

I think unlike the video-cassette and cassette and photocopier issues, this technological change has given rise to a culture that believes films/music/etc. should be free, because the Internet is free. I have no arguments with that philosophy, except it means musicians do not get paid. What was a profession--one that boomed with the advent of recorded music--has turned into a hobby. With the removal of copyrights, how can a musician be rewarded for their work? Or do we need to accept that music no longer has a monetary value?

Minority said...

It's obviously a huge issue for sure. I just wish the record labels had tried to figure out how to monitize online music from the start, rather than trying to fight technology, which, as this article points out, historically doesn't work out well. They ignored it, tried to fight it, and then sued music fans, and basically got people so annoyed that they decided they weren't paying for music anymore. Personally, I still buy CDs all the time, and I agree that artists should be paid.