Music Licensing & Royalties

Tuesday 2nd August, 2005
The musical world is a changing place. With the explosion of MP3 and portable devices like the iPod it's all just gone a bit mad and the record industries just can't keep up. The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) just cannot keep up and they're just doing anything to try and cut down on the lost turnover due to piracy and music sharing.

But who are the winners and losers in all of this? The digital world first brought us the CD player which gave us greatly improved quality and also easier manageability with track skipping, CD Text and other features. Mini-disc had a foot in the market for a while as a digital recording medium with it's Atrac compression and then MP3/CDROM came along and changed the industry for good.

Now, with the expense of just 4MB of storage per track, user's can carry music around on their phone, keyring or watch and still burn it back to a CD if required. Piracy on networks such as Napster and Kazaa became rife and now other systems like Bit Torrent have taken over as the leader in file sharing piracy whilst other sites like iTunes are marketing music legally at discounted prices.

Musical life has changed for me too. I've gone from a single CD system with shelves and shelves full of CDs over to a distributed Sonos Digital Music System. This allows me to play any of my music in any room with an easy to use iPod style remote control. All my CD's are boxed up and stored in the loft and, in reality, I never need to open them ever again.

So where do we go from here?

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