(entry last updated: 2003-06-08 19:08:11)
Until recently, music executives have largely failed to acknowledge the millions of individuals, from teenage Eminem fans to Elvis-obsessed baby boomers, who have joined in what amounts to an online rebellion against the industry by some of its most important customers. Hoping to end Internet music piracy by ridding the world of the technologies that make it possible, they have so far focused on legal battles against KaZaA and its many brethren.
But for the first time in the Internet file-sharing wars, record industry executives have in recent weeks started to address music fans directly, both offering carrots and wielding sticks to persuade people to buy their product again. How well they succeed is likely to determine the way music is produced and consumed for years to come.
“The technology has destabilized us, it has hurt us,” said Doug Morris, the chief executive of the Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi Universal and the largest of the five major record companies. “But now it’s going to take us to new heights.”
The conflation of copyright and property continues, of course
“We have the right to control the property we own the way we want to,” said David Munns, the chief executive of EMI Music North America. “To be successful I have to listen to what the consumer is telling me, but if that means me going broke that’s not the answer. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Ultimately, a reasonable look at the state of play, without any real indication of anything new. Slashdot discussion: 43 Million Americans Use P2P Software