Saturday, August 2, 2008

The voice of reason, receding....

Recorded music has become a battleground with the copyright laws a primary weapon. Even people with a marginal interest in the music business have encountered copyright issues, and with the ubiquity of unlicensed downloads, most of us have had the opportunity to define our position, even if we keep it to ourselves and use it as an internal guide of conduct. One of the more interesting and informed sources for copyright issues has been the Copyright Blog by William Patry, a specialist in the field for more than a quarter century and currently working for Google.

Sadly, Patry is shutting down his blog, both for personal and professional reasons, as he explains in his final post. The sad truth:

Copyright law has abandoned its reason for being: to encourage learning and the creation of new works. Instead, its principal functions now are to preserve existing failed business models, to suppress new business models and technologies, and to obtain, if possible, enormous windfall profits from activity that not only causes no harm, but which is beneficial to copyright owners.

More than ever, I want ever dollar I spend on music to benefit the independent artist, and I have strengthened my resolve to avoid major label releases as much as possible (thankfully a relatively easy task, given the pap that constitutes the bulk of them).


startlingmoniker said...

For a while now, I've had the feeling that copyright isn't going to be so much "overthrown" as it will simply die slowly on the vine. Those of us interested in new music and art seem to substitute respect and common sense as far as sharing and creation of music go-- the concerns of the popular music world seem unrelated to how it works in the avant/new/experimental communities. I'm with you-- no sense supporting these confused and useless major labels!

Dimaension X said...

I hope my comment wasn't taken the wrong way - I have the utmost respect for Mr. Patry, who seems as frustrated as the rest of us with laws that exist only to further confuse us into oblivion.

It was directed more at the Major Label Lawyers who are Hell-bent on scrounging every penny from anyone they can. Including the starving independant artists out there who are sincere about their ever-mutating artform and the web of ever-dwindling opportunies.