The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has released the
Digital Music Report 2010, a 32-page summary of how the digitization and online
distribution of content is affecting the recording industry. (Thoughtfully, and
perhaps unexpectedly, they've made the whole thing available at their Web site for free
.) Their principal
conclusion is that money can be made from digital platforms, but something has
to be done about illegal downloading, which bleeds huge revenue each year.
Stephen Garrett, a television executive quoted
in the report, says that runaway downloading has brought about a "climate change
of the entertainment industries." It may be that Garrett actually meant to say "sea change"--in any case, he doesn't actually seem to be equating MP3 theft
with the warming of the Earth--but a number of tech bloggers have seized on the analogy. However mangled the quote, "music piracy is like climate change" is on its way to be enshrined as a meme
. Garrett's word choice aside,
bloggers have found much else to criticize in the report, from the way its
authors interpret recent events to its recommendations going forward.
- Get Your Facts
Right The IFPI offers a lot of statistics and anecdotal evidence, Mike Masnick at Techdirt reports, but much of it
is intellectually dishonest. "The report continually ignores the fact that the
music industry has actually been growing (and that's based on a study from the
music industry itself). This report is like the makers of horse carriages
insisting that the transportation market is dying, because they're selling fewer
horse carraiges as automobile sales ramp up."
- France Doesn't
Have the Answer to Everything The report recommends the French system of
copyright enforcement, best described as 'steal music and we'll ban you from the
Internet,' but Web User's Ben Camm-Jones posits that this is neither
workable nor fair. "The problem with the French Hadopi law is that innocent
people who have unwittingly been the victims of Wi-Fi 'piggybacking' could be
cut off from the Web without a chance to plead their case."
- Have You Been
Inside a Record Store Lately? Nate Anderson of Ars Technica sympathizes with
those whose intellectual property is at stake, but only to a point. "These are the major labels, so the top 10 singles are
pretty execrable stuff unless you like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, or songs with
titles like 'Kiss Me Thru the Phone' and 'Boom Boom Pow.'"
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
aeichler at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.