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In thinking about music distribution rights -- I read Courney Love's article (diatribe) against the music companies in Salon She paints a master/slave relationship in which the music companies attach the risk to the artists and hold onto almost all the profit.

She seems to feel that even with a contract, after 'expenses' she is basicaly working for free. So her throw away line is 'I will work for tips' and give away the music online. She makes the observation that the current system does not benefit small time performers. So the 'losses' due to digital distribution are illusory. This is a big effort to hold onto profits through government enforcement of copy right laws.


On a technical note, any encryption (DES, Blowfish etc) will be broken -- by social engineering, high quality analog copying or by brute computational power -- and thus all data will be available for distribution. Disney's Michael Eisner made this comment in front of a Senate hearing last week. (He is looking at water marking of materials as his fallback position). Hey there is a guy in England putting his own custom chips into DVD players to put out digital data streams for digital ready TV sets. Where have you seen a DVD player with digtal video output?

So the greater question is how will we live with everything available all the time. My feeling is that there will be a shift in the marketplace, away from the record companies. Perhaps a subscription service that collects a genre of performance specific to my tastes. This represents a possible evolution of the recording and distribution company. So we will pay for collection of available material rather than protected data bases.

On the other side it will also become almost free to get the digital recording equipment based on personal computers to do multi channel editing and production of independent works.

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