Friday, September 23, 2005


You think that because you're good and pay for your CDs, the music industry likes you? No, they don't - not if you moan because they've made your disc unusable. Tommi Kyrra, from the Finnish branch of the IFPI, really thinks what the music industry needs is to bring its customers into line:

"Now, we need to understand that listening to music on your computer is an extra privilege. Normally people listen to music on their car or through their home stereos... If you are a Linux or Mac user, you should consider purchasing a regular CD player."

There's two big points here. In reverse order - actually, a Mac CD tray is a regular CD player - it's the discs which have been hobbled with DRM which aren't "regular" (and, quite often, have trouble playing in in-car CD players come to that).

More crucially - if you want to play a CD you've paid fifteen quid (or whatever the equivalent price is in Norway) on your computer, you should bloody well have the right to do it. If you want to hack your toaster so you can play CDs on that, you have the right to. It is, you know, why you pay fifteen quid for a little disc of plastic. If the IFPI really does believe that it's a treat to play our CDs on whatever equipment we choose - and that by screwing with the CDs they sell us so that we can't, because it's a privilege, not a right, you start to see the depth of the structural problem the industry has. Some industries would be really excited that the development of IT has suddenly dropped a whole new segment of market into their laps - now huge swathes of offices have all their workers with their own PCs, who can stick in headphones and listen to music while they work, you'd think the music industry would be rushing to embrace this potential. Think of all the extra CDs you can sell now that people could be spinning discs while they work. But, oh no, the response from senior members of the body who are meant to be helping the industry develop to its fullest treats the very idea of playing a CD in your computer CD player as some sort of kooky misbehaviour that should be bred or beaten out their heads as soon as possible.

Remember: these people are leading the companies who your pension fund could be investing in.

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