Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Useless Crusade of the Music Industry

The music industry is suing even more music lovers, which should come as a surprise to noone. It seems as if the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) is so intent on sawing off the branch of piracy that they don't even see that they're sitting on it. Yes, I am afraid of downloading western music now, but that has also caused me to almost stop listening to it entirely, since I have started listening to, and in turn purchasing, Japanese music. As can be read in the excellent Cultures of Music Piracy: An Ethnographic Comparison of the US and Japan (PDF) by Ian Condry, Japan has taken a non-suing stance in regards to file-sharing.
By March 2004, hundreds of lawsuits had been initiated in Europe
(Landler, 2004), but only three legal actions have been taken in Japan.
Of course that doesn't make downloading Japanese music legally right, but at least you can explore the music without the threat of a lawsuit hanging over you.

In one way, it might be a good thing that the IFPI are so persistent in their witch-hunt of "pirates", in that it's becoming painfully clear that the music industry of today cannot cope with the technology at hand. And since the technology is ever improving, how are they supposed to handle it, say, 5 years from now?

It seems as if the IFPI wants people to buy music out of fear, instead out of respect. Perhaps what will happen is that the potential customer, in fear of being prosecuted, instead turns to independent bands, or bands signed on a smaller, non-suing, label...

EDIT: From The Register:
Japan is also joining in the fun, becoming the first Asian country to take legal action against people who use P2P services to trade the record business' wares without payment.
Nevermind what I said then. Still, they'd have to travel half-way around the world to get me. Bring it on!

*runs out and hides in the woods*

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