December 29, 2004

What’s Cool? [3:19 pm]

A look at kid culture [via the Pho list]: Cool to pay for ringtones, not downloads say teens as 2004 draws to a close [pdf]

A funny thing happened this year in the digital music universe - teens were inspired to pry open their Hello Kitty wallets for 30-second ringtones while four-minute song downloads still couldn’t shake loose a single penny.

And the threat of the heavy hand of the law continued to unfaze the notoriously irreverent group. At least one teen finds it funny that so much cash is wasted on music pirates.

“I’m soooo not worried,” says Jami, a spunky 17-year-old Toronto student who, like many of her peers, consumes heaps of music round the clock.

[...] Jami and her friends pose the latest conundrum for music makers, who want to encourage music revenue from new sources like cellphone ringtones but also want to throttle teens who don’t pay for their song downloads.

[...] “The nature of the beast is such that whether it’s a court decision or whether it’s a legislative amendment, the matter is not just overnight going to stop being an issue,” said [Gilles] Daigle, an Ottawa lawyer who specializes in the copyright law. “The pace of technology is changing so quickly that it’s almost such that by the time you solve one problem, the underlying issues have completely changed because of advances in technology.”

He equates downloading music to the practice of photocopying textbooks in school libraries. Both should be illegal, yet the activities continue on a daily basis, he says.

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