Thursday, July 19, 2007

When the music stops...

The mainstream music industry is worried, seeing its revenues being eaten away and a future in which the companies who've carved up publishing and recording between themselves for generations in danger of being sidelined.

So, you think they'd be delighted if someone turned up, offered a new revenue stream and all they needed to do would be saying yes?

Thats what Interactive When The Music Stops thought. They've invented a mobile-phone based game a bit like that last round of Buzzcocks, where they'd send players a snatch of music, and ask them to say what lyrics come next.

Now, of course, lyrics are intellectual property so, as well as licensing the music, the company also needs to licence the words. Warner Chapel, though, wasn't having any of it:

Warner told the content provider to go off and get various licences which it duly did. Having done so, Warner just turned around and told Iwtms to wait for another six months while it thought about it.

Think about it? For half a year? Presumably they've got a But It Must Be A Trick Department to consider the request. It's hard to see the justification for the delay - since Warner Chapel can't really believe that people will somehow start gathering illegal copies of songwords ten words at a time, the suspicion has to be that they're hoping to strangle IWTMS at birth, by keeping it unable to function for months and months.

Then the music industry wonders why companies launch first, and negotiate the rights later.