Thursday 14 April 2011

Illegal music downloads

The Report on Radio 4 this evening "investigates the battle over the government's plans to stop illegal downloading of music" and asks: "Is the digital economy bill unravelling?"

Here's a little extra. The programme describes the accusations that Peter Mandelson was unduly influenced by the music industry. Ray Corrigan writes about this in Chapter 11 of Perspectives on Information, and has an interesting anecdote:
In August 2009, Lord Peter Mandelson, the UK Secretary of State for Business,
Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade, went to
Corfu on holiday, as a guest at the Rothschild family estate. Whilst he
was there, he met philanthropist and entertainment mogul, David Geffen,
founder of companies like Asylum Records and Dreamworks. The business
secretary then returned from holiday, infused with an enthusiasm, which
some argued was not previously in evidence, for clamping down on illicit
file sharing on the Internet
In the end, the conclusion is that whatever you may think of the rights and wrongs, however much you may worry about the consequences, the genie is out of the bottle and the music industry will have to adapt.(That sounds rather technologically determinist, doesn't it?)

Recorded music is information, and information has lost its body.

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