Sunday, February 3, 2008

Music Downloads - The View from Scotland

I have written a few posts on music downloading (such as here) just because I find them to be an interesting confluence of law and business - especially our modern, Internet business. I like using the music business' problem with downloads for explaining that businesses with intellectual property do not sell CD's, or books, or movies. They sell their copyright or patent. Even those selling things like soft drinks or hamburgers have businesses turning on another intellectual property - trademarks.

Which brings me back to Scotland's Sunday Herald and NO BUSINESS IN SHOWBUSINESS?. The articles has lots of interesting bits but here is the conclusion:

If the television and film industry is coping better it is perhaps because unlike with music, they're still dealing in the same discrete bits of entertainment rather than having to deal with the decline of the album and the rise of the individual track.

Forde predicts that there is consolidation on the horizon, as music companies diversify their business models. "Some of the majors stopped calling themselves record companies a while back, and started saying that they were entertainment corporations, which is, I think, a sign of things to come.

"They haven't moved quickly enough for the times, but they're exploring what's out there. They've finally realised that putting out albums is not the be all and end all," he says.