crypto and public policy

And They Say They’re Looking Out for the Artists

Filed under: General August 11, 2005 @ 2:59 am

The record companies always claim that they’re looking out for the artists, just trying to make sure that the little guys get proper compensation for their music. The major flaw in this claim is that no single record company is purely a record company anymore. Most of the record companies have conflicting business interests: they control the distribution channels, or they produce music devices.

For if they were really just record companies, they would be in love with all the new fantastic music delivery channels. Instead, the record companies have to worry about new technology cannibalizing their existing stranglehold on the entire music vertical.

That’s exactly the problem that Sony faces: it’s a record company, but it also produces music players. So when Apple launches iTunes in Japan, Sony Records stalls the agreement to sell on iTunes, and individual artists are forced to break their contract in order to get listed on iTunes.

What record company in its right mind would stall a license deal to sell its music on the online delivery channel that is literally 15 times more successful than the second most successful competitor? A record company with a serious conflict of interest, that’s who.

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