Monday, June 30, 2008

"Not in the plastic disc business"

Matt Phillips of the BPI has just appeared on Today's business slot, explaining that - hey, you know what? The British Phonographic Industry isn't about phonograms at all, it's all about licensing content and artist development.

He didn't blanch when the Madonna deal was mentioned, seizing it as an example of the kind of thing he's talking about - although, of course, it also showed why he's honking in the dark. Because while a business designed to efficiently ship plastic discs round the globe is one with enormous barriers to entry, managing artist rights and shuffling copyright doesn't need investment in buildings and factories and infrastructure in the same way. Yes, your local newsagent couldn't suddenly take on Mick Jagger and his future career - but a newspaper company could; or a TV production house; or an advertising agency... or a well-funded, correctly-staffed start-up.

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