The music industry’s relationship with new media: on again, off again

Record labels warming up to MP3 distribution?

The music industry has long resisted selling music in the MP3 format, which lacks the copy protections that prevent songs from being duplicated endlessly. But now, Blue Note Records and its marquee artist, jazz-pop singer Norah Jones, are selling her latest single through Yahoo Inc. as an MP3 — despite the risk that it may add to piracy problems.

The move represents a small but significant retreat from one of the central tenets of the music industry’s digital strategy. EMI Group PLC’s Blue Note and other music companies are beginning to think they will have to sell some MP3-formatted music both to satisfy customer demand and to provide access to Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod for songs that are sold by online stores other than Apple’s iTunes Store.

Read this article from the Wall Street Journal with commentary from Nicholas Carr.

Copyright v Social Media

In a copy of court documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Universal also accuses MySpace of aiding copyright infringement by reformatting clips so users can transfer them to friends or post them to other sites.

Read this news item from C|Ne, related commentary from ZDNet’s Donna Bogatin

Cause for concern?

While looking through Mary Meeker’s 2006 Web 2.0 Summit presentation, I was struck by the figures on page 19: “Peer-to-Peer (P2P) traffic was 60% (and rising) of Internet traffic in 2004, with BitTorrent accounting for 30% of traffic, per CacheLogic”. You can definitely see why this is the case, as P2P is normally used to download very large media files – music, movies, etc. But still it makes you realise just how big P2P currently is on the Internet and, given the increasing amount of video coming onto the Web, how crucial it is going forward.

Read more from the Read/Write Web

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Filed under Business 2.0, Fair Use, P2P (Peer to Peer), Social Media, Virtual Communities, When New Meets Old

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