Continued woes for the music biz, and other stories – January 22, 2007
What’s the music business to do? Global music sales are down for the seventh year on the trot and NPD estimates that 45% of all music is acquired illegally for free. Reuters reports from an annual industry meeting from Cannes that the industry is still divided over digital rights management. A large part of the problem IMHO is that the music business made the bed it is now lying in. The industry had it good for too long at the expense of the consumer so it’s little wonder that people have no qualms about downloading free music if they can. Meanwhile, former Napster exec Mike Bebel is expanding Ruckus, a music download site that encourages students to download now and pay later. The idea is that anyone with a .edu email address can download for free. The catch is that once students graduate to a .com address, they have to start paying a subscription in order to hold onto their music collection. I’m not sure I like the concept, but at least it’s innovative thinking. Find out more about it at BusinessWeek.
Second Life endorses real life. Linden Lab – creator of much-talked-about virtual world Second Life – issued a highly amusing legalese response to the parody site, Get a First Life. The response rejected the invitation to issue a cease and desist order, asserting that even its lawyers had a sense of humor: “Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception.” Among other things, Get a First Life urges people to “Go outside. Membership is free.”
Fed up of Web 2.0? Follow Valleywag’s advice for “how to be a jerk about Web 2.0.” Here’s my favorite: “Complain about every service that you never sign up for. Say it’ll never catch on, because, well, your friends aren’t on it! This is why, because your friends don’t read Reader’s Digest either, that magazine does not exist.”