Wednesday, August 10, 2005


What was the point where podcasting went mainstream? No, not when slashdot started to be dismissive of it, nor when the BBC started doing it; not even when your gran started her own podcast. Nope, the maturity of podcasting has been marked by the worried faces peering through the window - faces of RIAA members:

"Podcasting is potentially very exciting," says [EMI] Executive Vice President Adam Klein. But the company needs contracts "that are responsible to everybody," he says.

In other words: how can we crush the fun and creativity out of it, while still making money?

You can hear the fear in the RIAA's throats:

Podcasting could exacerbate the piracy problem created by file-swapping sites such as Grokster and Kazaa. When listeners download a podcast, they "are getting a copy of an entire program ... an unprotected copy that they can do whatever they want with," says Steve Marks, a lawyer at the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group.

And how many people, with a three-hour podcast, are going to piddle about editing out just the bits they want? (Oh, sure, we would, but we're, you know, kinda difficult to live with).

So, another exciting opportunity for the record industry to help grow those artists we hear so much about, and they're worried that there might be the odd lost sale. We've been here before, haven't we?

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