Canadian songwriters claim: “legalize file sharing!”

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Publisher: FilePlaza

Date added: 07 Dec 2011

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More than 1,500 Canadian songwriters are giving voice to a different approach when it comes down to music business in the 21st century. And such proposal would mean the legalization of certain practices now labeled as "illegal" and "harmful" for the indus

It’s obvious that the music industry in particular and the entertainment business in general are reaching a turning point that will define the way in which the money is made and the culture is spread.

Lobbyists, executives, producers, composers, filmmakers, copyright holders and artists are taking sides by choosing between advocating for a new, more inclusive and technologically-conscious form for the business or defending the old distribution structures until their last breath.

In such panorama, it’s understandable to believe that most musicians will stand by the companies that made them huge in the first place (or the labels that promises them exactly that). But there are exceptions. Radiohead, Trent Reznor and his Nine Inch Nails might be the most recognizable ones but to them you now have to add the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC).

“People have always shared music and always will”

With that phrase the SAC opens its proposal for a business renewal that doesn’t involve a change on the consumer’s behavior. This is probably the strongest notion throughout the proposal since it undermines the current efforts to “stop people from using new technologies to share music”. Basically, the plan would be to work on measures to leave consumers’ habits intact while maintaining revenue in a non invasive form.

So, what the SAC is trying to say is that people would still have the possibility to use file sharing programs, bittorrent clients, social networking sites and practically anything they can think of, to share music with others – provided that such users pay for a reasonable monthly fee.

You might be wondering how is this different from (or better than) paying for subscription on a site like Spotify or Rhapsody. The main difference is in the “how” you listen and control your music.

While the aforementioned sites offer you a wide number of possibilities, they are all cloud-based, which means that “your music” isn’t precisely that, since you depend on a connection to listen to it and if you want to carry it with you, you depend on Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices to synchronize your playlists.

With the new system, you’d simply download the music to your hard drive and then you’d be able to take it anywhere through any channel. Want to burn a CD to borrow to a friend? Do it. Want to transfer songs to a portable player? Please do, there are no DRM restrictions or anything like that.

The key, then, would be “monetizing behavior rather than any specific technology”, which would ensure a more stable business and a less intrusive revenue model. This proposal is coming to public attention just in time to join efforts with other causes that understand that anti-piracy laws and consumer trials aren't the way to go.

With the support from world renowned songwriters such as Bryan Adams, Eddie Schwartz, Randy Bachman and Carole Pope, the SAC is providing and elegant, possible and interest alternative to the lawsuit-filled path the whole industry is taking. Hopefully they’ll get noticed and the proposal will be taken more seriously.

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