Categories
Thinking

Pandora’s Box

Scott Ten­nent makes an emo­tion­al plea for music fans to ignore leaks over at  Pret­ty Goes with Pret­ty. We’ve all seen vari­a­tions of this argu­ment before. The MPAA even made spots that echoed this sen­ti­ment. It’s heart­felt, but hope­less. Count­less clich­es could be used to describe what’s hap­pened, but I’ll use this one: you can’t get the tooth­paste back into the tube.

Categories
Thinking

Tragic Tuesdays

Tobias Car­roll and I have been hav­ing a spir­it­ed back and forth over at his blog, the Scowl, where we’ve been dis­cussing how best to incor­po­rate leaks into the edi­to­r­i­al cal­en­dar. I argue that leaks are an indus­try norm that need to be treat­ed as such, rather than an aber­rant behav­ior bet­ter ignored.

He writes:

And giv­en that release dates still have an effect — their rela­tion­ship to tour­ing comes to mind — I don’t know that there’s an easy way to make this work. Also wor­ri­some is the fact that it essen­tial­ly hands over con­trol of the process to par­tic­i­pants in what could at best be called an eth­i­cal­ly grey activ­i­ty, which, while arguably prag­mat­ic, doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly seem like some­thing to be encour­aged.

As far as I’m con­cerned, so-called pirates have hijacked the dis­course sur­round­ing the music indus­try for over ten years. This “eth­i­cal­ly grey activ­i­ty” threat­ens to sun­der an indus­try that failed to accept tech­nol­o­gy into its busi­ness mod­el, and a con­sumer base that does­n’t seem to care one way or the oth­er what hap­pens to it.

Categories
Thinking

The Release Date Ritual

Think­ing about the music indus­try’s con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to release dates got me think­ing about the Roy­al Tenen­baums. You remem­ber the scene where Eli Cash is on a show very sim­i­lar to Char­lie Rose and he says, “Wild­cat…was writ­ten in a kind of obso­lete ver­nac­u­lar”? I think release dates are part of the music indus­try’s obso­lete ver­nac­u­lar. I’m guess­ing not many on the label side would admit it pub­licly, but they will even­tu­al­ly. Release dates just don’t mat­ter to any­one any­more.