We need to Open Source the Music Industry

Reading this article (below) from Rolling Stone really just pisses me off and makes me want to find other more direct ways to support artists I like rather than going through the main commerical channels. Somehow, Clear Channel’s moves are not considered anti-competitive or under any anti-trust scrutiny, but this move is clearly a way for them to control every aspect of the music experience — radio airplay, concerts and now live recordings.

The music industry needs an open source solution to enable real-time recording and burning of music so that artists can profit from touring the way they should, rather than continue to be crippled by ridiculous regulations like this. With the appropriate software and hardware, perhaps off the shelf systems bands or venues would be able to produce rapid copys of performaces for fans to buy on their way out the door.

The more we go forward, the the more the recording industry goes backward… I can’t understand why you would limit access to a product from people who not only are interested in purchasing, but are actually right there with money in hand!!

I thought that Phish had a system to do just this, but apparently not in real time… recordings produced a few days later are ok according to CC…

In the past few years, fans leaving some concerts have discovered a souvenir far better than a T-shirt: a live recording of the show they just attended. Bands including the Allman Brothers, moe. and Billy Idol have sold instant concert discs, and the Pixies and the Doors plan to launch similar programs this summer. The recording-and-burning company DiscLive estimated on April 12th that it would gross $500,000 selling live discs this spring alone.

But in a move expected to severely limit the industry, Clear Channel Entertainment has bought the patent from the technology’s inventors and now claims to own the exclusive right to sell concert CDs after shows. The company, which is the biggest concert promoter in the world, says the patent covers its 130 venues along with every other venue in the country.

“We want to be artist-friendly,” says Steve Simon, a Clear Channel executive vice president and the director of Instant Live. “But it is a business, and it’s not going to be ‘we have the patent, now everybody can use it for free.'”

Artists net about ten dollars for every twenty- to twenty-five-dollar concert CD that’s sold, no matter which company they use. But with Clear Channel pushing to eliminate competition, many fear there will be less money and fewer opportunities to sell live discs. “It’s one more step toward massive control and consolidation of Clear Channel’s corporate agenda,” says String Cheese Incident manager Mike Luba, who feuded with Clear Channel last year after promoters blocked the band from using CD-burning equipment.

The Pixies, who are booking a fall reunion tour with several probable Clear Channel venues, say Clear Channel has already told them DiscLive can’t burn and sell CDs on-site. “Presuming Clear Channel’s service and product are of equal quality, it may be best to feed the dragon rather than draw swords,” says Pixies manager Ken Goes. “Still, I’m not fond of doing business with my arm twisted behind my back.” [RollingStone.com]

Thanks for the Tip JD!

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