March 29, 2003
UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Music, It's All About the Music

Big Champagne is reporting that Internet file sharing of music is big, really really big! 61 million Americans are downloading; in fact they report it's bigger than the record industry. Eric Garland of Big Champagne suggested the music industry embrace the change, but the record industry has rejected that (do you know anyone who would say no to a market this big handed to them like this?). At a Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry hearing, Kazaa lobbyist Phil Corwin suggested, "The record business, in the digital revolution, has been a day late and a dollar short." He said that media consolidations, high CD prices, and the end of the trend to convert vinyl albums to CDs were the reasons the music industry was hurting now. Kazaa is developing a paid download site. But Matthew Oppenheim (RIAA counsel) said it was Napster that ruined their business.

Check it out: Legal MP3 Downloads is a new blog cataloging free legal MP3s. They don't happen to list Techn9ne yet, but download their whole CD, Absolute Power, for directly free... and check out their video "'F.T.I.' Video Spot 1."

Meanwhile CNet is reporting that copy-protected CDs will be shipped to the US market this year. Apparently Arista, using SunnComm encryption (whose motto is "lightyears beyond encryption") will do this soon. SunnComm recently agreed with Microsoft to make encryption that will protect CDs, and then MS will make tools that allow "second session" recording for personal use, but not allow the files to be copied for file sharing over the Internet. But the technology from this partnership will come much later. In the meantime, the CDs with just the SunnComm encryption will ship. SunnComm also developed the previous encryption that damaged some machines.

Update: 3/30/03 Thanks Frank! Here is the CA Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry website and list of members. And check out this write up from Murray, the Chair of the Committee, on the music industry.

Update CORRECTION (5/24/03): When the above post was written, the CNet article stated that SunnComm had developed the encryption technology that damaged some machines, but Peter H. Jacobs at SunnComm has let me know that actually it was Midbar's technology that allegedly damaged computers, and not SunnComm's technology, which has damaged nothing. Also, SunnComm reports that their SunnComm/Microsoft hybrid copy control product is shipping complete, and not separately as CNet reported in their article. In addition, their product, MediaMax is supposed to allow some copying of purchased music for friends without allowing the sharing of that music on P2P networks, and therefore work as a "middle ground" solution.

Posted by Mary Hodder at March 29, 2003 07:37 AM | TrackBack

Hi, Mary:

Something important to note (it confused me about the SFGate article, too) - this was a California State Senate Select Committee - the article never makes that clear.

I found a couple of pertinent links and posted them to Furdlog for March 28th.

It would be nice to find the text of Garland's remarks, but so far no luck.

Frank Field

Posted by: Frank Field on March 30, 2003 12:31 PM
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