Just read an article about Wurld Media in New York has just signed a deal with three of the four major record labels to distribute their works via their upcoming P2P offering, Peer Impact.
So what is Peer Impact? Think Napster, the original, or Kazaa but without the programs, videos, odd other files, virus and porn - oh and you have to PAY to use it.
So how is this good and how is it bad?
It's good because it's just one more way to move away from the archaic ways that music is presently sold and towards a more comsumer friendly system.
It's bad because there is NO PORN!!! Oh and if it's any sort of success it will simply reinforce the idea that the RIAA has that free downloading and sharing is bad. Hell the majority of "artists", and I use that term loosely, dont believe file sharing is a threat to them or it currently isnt any sort of threat to them at all.
"I don't know if we're necessarily going to compete with Kazaa," Kirk Feathers (Wurld Media's President and CTO) added. "How valuable is a customer who wants everything for free?"
Kirk, if you still classify them as a "customer" than they are intrinsically valuable and if given the choice ALL customers want their stuff for free so they can keep their money. You cant work the "Have's vs. The Have Not's" system and at the same time bash the people who want to get an edge in it.
I think in my eyes the way to resolve all this hooplah (at least on the music side of things) is for the RIAA to sign all rights to all recordings back to the artists if the recordings were made before midnight 1999 and then allow the artists to sign these away for legal downloading or not. If the artists signs them away then you cant sue no matter how someone downloads the file and if they dont then go after them, because the person that made it has explicitly stated that he doesnt want his works being a part of it and that's fair.
Then everything after midnight 1999 is illegal to download for 5 years. Then in 5 years (midnight 2005) all the past 5 years of recordings go thru the same process from above.
The RIAA have a vested interest in one thing, making money. They preach about fair use and sustaining the validity of copyrights, etc - but their bottom line is cash flow. And if they could make more money selling bad toupees, they would switch to that in a second.