TOP 2009 EVIDENCE EXAM question 2

Excerpt of Remarks to RIAA/MPAA Joint Luncheon

… Joel’s supporters have a have a bold vision for the future. They see an open net, an artistic culture of sharing and collaboration, a culture of unbridled creativity and innovation. Beyond this, they see the net as a means of reorganizing and democratizing society; of breaking down centralized power structures and propaganda systems, and of breaking out of outmoded mores and traditions. They argue that existing intellectual property law stands as an obstacle to their imagined future and the benefits it promises.

The fact is that openness, creativity, innovation, collaboration and freedom are all desirable goals. If we are seen as opposing these things, we will lose. Joel’s supporters have framed this as a battle between the future, which they represent, and the past, which we represent. Our challenge is to demonstrate that Joel’s supporters have not set a realistic path for achieving these goals, but that we can.
To do so, we must first be honest with ourselves. Our industry is, to borrow a phrase from social science, “path dependant.” Our options for future evolution are constrained by the inertia of the systems we have developed over the past century. Countless peoples’ time and resources have been devoted to developing this way of creating and distributing art and culture. This is not simply a matter of sunk costs and it encompasses more than just our shareholders, our employees and our artists. It encompasses the local economies of which we are the lifeblood, the human capital, the specialized expertise developed to produce our products, the distribution networks, infrastructure, financing systems, talent scouting and on and on.

What the internet vanguard fails to recognize is the extent to which they too are dependent on this path. We represent more than just a way of doing business—we are the way culture is financed and created in our society. Joel’s supporters believe that we can simply be consigned to the dustbin of history—as if having reached the top rung you could saw off the ladder beneath yourself. They ignore the enormous downside risk to abandoning this path. Starve us of revenue and musicians are not paid, movies are not made, and the engine for cultural production collapses. Without the mass culture we create, there would be no shared experience to forge our national identity; to serve as the glue that holds our society together; to enable us to relate to one another in a meaningful way. Without mass-culture there would be no counter-culture. Without the art we create, what would there be to share, to borrow, to respond to, to remix, and to define oneself in opposition to? Art and information must be, for lack of a better word, commodified in order to be organized and integrated into a coherent social fabric.

Our copyright laws are imperfectly suited to the realities of the internet and must be reformed. However, if we did not resist the virtually unlimited free distribution of our products that is taking place over the internet, we would be bankrupt long before any reasonable accommodation could be reached. Joel’s supporters must recognize that our industry plays a vital role in fueling the creativity of the open net. In turn, we must recognize that the collaborative net culture creates genuine value. Together, we must find a way to harness and monetize this creativity and innovation without dislocating everything that has come before. …

1 Response to “TOP 2009 EVIDENCE EXAM question 2”

  • Only if you ignore the fact that the industry limits creativity forcing artists to do what the studio wants.
    Only if you ignore the fact that the industry is ridiculously inefficient,they say 19 out of 20 cd’s don’t make money but who’s to blame for that when an album fails only if the music in no good or it’s not promoted right.
    Only if you ignore the fact that while we might be starving the studios, they are starving the artists.
    Only if you ignore the fact that they are targeting only teenagers and pushing cra* while ignoring real music.
    Only if you ignore the fact that the industry fails to adapt to economic realities outside the developed world where it’s prices are ,by all means, insane.
    Music won’t die just because they can’t adapt.One can make money out of anything and there are plenty of money to be made in music but things must change and will change.They are too afraid to fail in trying something new,they can’t understand the world they live in and they are too damn greedy.Who can survive like that?They won’t and when they bite the dust others will buy the ruins for cheap and do it right.
    No one wants the artists to starve-besides the studios- but when citizen X gets a 2 mil fine, we are not so sure we want to feed the studios and when Fiona Apple gets screwed by Sony we just can’t take it anymore and then we find out what artists make from cd and digital sales and we just boycot cd’s and go to concerts instead.The propaganda machine might work on politicians and mainstream media but it won’t work on the average Joe or the artists.
    The industry is like GM going full speed towards… the end.

    Other than that nice dramatic,heart breaking article if only it would be true and honest.Oh wait I forgot pigs aren’t flying and MAFIAA is still evil.

    Music,Movie,Books and Patents need reforming and even if it takes 20 more years it will happen.Or we’ll just have to emigrate on another planet. Don’t you all wish we could do that sometimes?

Comments are currently closed.