Tuesday, November 04, 2003

JUST BEFORE WE SUE THEM, CAN WE DRAW UP A PIE CHART OF WHAT THEY'RE LISTENING TO: Clear Channel and 'most of the labels' are using file-sharing networks as a research tool. Of course, this might make those people who've already handed over thousands of dollars to the bullying RIAA wonder if they've not been a little duped, as if the labels' position that filesharing is bad is such an Old Testament-style truth, isn't using the data generated by the networks like including shoplifted CDs in the Top 40? Indeed, isn't it a little bit twisted to be suing people for using a service that your own marketing department is happily embracing? 'Twisted' as in 'stinkingly hypocritical', of course?

"We're definitely using it as a tool. It's just part of a bigger trend of the labels using real data to figure out marketing plans as opposed to radio charts, that are not tied directly to consumer information," said Jeremy Welt, head of new media at Maverick Records, a Time Warner label. [...] "It's unfortunate that all this file sharing is happening and we have to see all the music that is being taken, but at the same time we have to look at it from every angle. We'd rather get this data from legitimate digital sales and stores, but we're in a transition phase right now."

I could be wrong, but isn't that an executive with one of the largest record companies saying that file sharing - far from being a threat to the future of the music industry and set to condemn pretty young popstars to hunger - is merely 'unfortunate' and 'a transition phase'? Doesn't this really undermine the moral tone of the RIAA campaign? And does this mean that you're okay to download providing you also fill out a form to allow the industry to track your taste?

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