Monday, October 28, 2002

LET'S HAVE A RE-HEATED DEBATE: So, Chuck D and Bruce Dickinson pulled out, but in a nifty spot of replacement re-jigging, Chris Wright, Chief Exec of Chrysalis found himself insisting that free music would kill the music, eyeball to eyeball with Doug D'Arcy, who doesn't accept that and should know better, having co-founded the company Wright works for. There's a fine report on proceedings here, and another here, which is slightly more generous to the motion's proponents. What comes across is, in the flesh, the RIAA's Hilary Rosen is just as happy to issue statements that aren't true as fact ("there has been no copy-protection CD released in America", indeed? And, even if that were true - Hilary? Oxford? We're in the EU, miss, not America.) and the level of their debate resides in re-interpretation of pie charts of data and facts to support what they have to say, while the pro-sharing lobby back their claims with more common sense and experience and anecdotal evidence. The vote went 72-256 against Rosen and her chums, which isn't quite a landslide but suggests that even with a bunch of Harvard MBAs and research gimps at their disposal, the Recording Industry can't really muster much of an argument against filesharing - or at least, depict it as a convincing boogeyman.
Martin Lloyd's report suggests that he felt that all the executives on both sides were passionate about music. It could be true, although that Jay Berman can say "Each generation has had their own music. For your generation it's filesharing. And I think thats a pretty terrible thing" and mean it backs up our impression of everyone we've ever met who has their own office funded from the music industry - they started burning with a passion for music, and still feel like they love the process of making and playing and buying and selling, but their impression of where music is, and the music that they love, gets fractured the moment they move from being involved in creation to the marketing of it. To suggest that file swapping is the current generation's music is as ridiculous as telling punks "you don't have music - you have the compact cassette", or for kids in the fifties to have been lambasted with the words "if you really liked music, you'd be playing the piano, not putting discs on the Dansette."

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