Friday, April 17, 2009

Mini Liveblog: McNicholas and Mulligan on copyright

Today are doing the Pirate Bay case with Mark Mulligan of Forrester Research and Conor McNicholas, still editor of the NME. Interestingly, nobody from a record company, or the BPI, or PRS, then.

Mulligan cautions that there's a danger in mixing lawyers and copyright - "results are unpredictable and inconvenient", effectively suggesting the best the RIAA can hope for is a useless Pyrrhic victory.

Conor keeps insisting the Pirate Bay case is like "putting your finger in a dam" - it was always a dyke when I was a kid, but I think, on balance, Conor's imagery of trying to hold back a mighty river rather than plug a gentle polder might be more apt in this case.

He suggests that internally, record companies are accepting they need new ways of handling copyright - and then runs out a brief, polished run through of why recorded music copyright is a twentieth century anomaly and doomed to vanish. Interestingly, this hasn't actually made an NME cover story, has it? I wonder if that's because it might be hard persuading record companies to take advertising around an obituary.

Mulligan then suggests that Spotify is the opposite of the Pirate Bay case, although that would imply that it's also an initiative taken by the record companies rather than just something they responded to differently.

Conor didn't have very much to do.

Straight after this feature, the business news did a piece on Record Store Day.