Saturday, April 06, 2002

the jukebox cabal
1962 was a very different time. People didn't have the concerns we do today about copyright, and licensing, and technology. Or did they? The Atlantic Monthy is running some blast-from-the-past stories on their pages, including one about jukeboxes, and copyright:
This year, those who are supporting the change in the law have reason to be optimistic. Representative Emanuel Celler of New York has introduced a bill "to stop the legalized piracy of copyrighted music by the jukebox syndicate," and a vote will be taken at the current session of Congress. As for the Senate, its Judiciary Committee has already recommended a similar bill in a previous session. Supported both by the Sandburg group and by the public's growing awareness of underworld domination of the jukebox business, the current bill has an excellent chance of passing. If it does, the usually unsung songwriter will finally be able to give less thought to the nation's laws and more to its musical needs. Who knows? With added financial security, he may even write better songs.
The evil of the jukebox sounds suspiciously like the evils of streaming radio and peer-to-peer filing sharing.

I'm firmly convinced that the music industry is missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Sales of cds can be triggered by wide spread distribution of songs over internet radio and file sharing. Just as a jukebox gave people a chance to hear new music, and the inspiration to buy a copy for their own personal enjoyment.

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