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  1. 1. THIS OPEN BUSINESS of MUSIC Max Gaines / Thesis Paper 2011
  2. 2. 2Charles (Max) GainesDES – 699A - 03Thesis PaperProfessor Tom KlinkowsteinPratt InstituteMS Communications Design2011
  3. 3. 3Table of contentsIntroduction 4Section 1: This Business of Music 7 A Star Is Born 8 Money Cash Hoes 9 The Golden Age of Grotesque 12 The Artist & The Law 12 The Designer 13 Goodbye Babylon 15 This Apparatus Must be Unearthed 16 Section 1 – Works Cited 17Section 2: The Modern Era 18 The Day The Whole World Went Away 19 Change The Game 20 No, You Don’t 22 F**K This Industry 25 I’m Free From The Chain Gang Now 30 Section 2 – Works Cited 32Section 3: Culture & The Open Future 33 Mere Anarchy Is Loosed Upon The World 34 HIP HOP 34 PUNK 35 Generation Y-Pay 36 The Fee-ist of Free Market Capitalism 37 Conclusion 39 Section 3 – Works Cited 43
  4. 4. 4IntroductionIt is not the purpose of this thesis paper to denigrate the design traditionsof the past. Far from it. The ultimate purpose to move design forward.Capitalism has served the Music Industry well. It was quite literally apalace that created millionaires and icons. It also delivered to fans whatthey crave most – Music. Their business and distribution system wereseemingly indestructible. That was until the late 1990’s when havoc wascried and the dogs of war slipped through the palace walls unleashing mereanarchy.The Music Industry in its current incarnation is a commercial empire incrises. But they are not alone. The music industry’s fate has been closelywatched by other media companies — television, film, software, and printpublications – all whose traditional businesses and distribution models arealso under siege.The upheaval of commercial industries like the Music Industry is a marketsignal. Currently the world of communications design is going through itsown set of growing pains much like commercial industries. So what’s theanswer for the survival of commercial industries and communicationsdesigners? It starts with hip-hop – or at least its attitude. That certainbrazen audacity that is often re-interpreted as conceited adolescentrebellion. What is rebellion but simply questioning the status quo –questioning why things are the way they are and figuring out ways to makethem better. What lead Rick Rubin and Russell Simons to create the nowiconic Def Jam Recordings? chalk it up to brazen audacity. At a time whenthe status quo labeled hip-hop culture and rap music not “commerciallyreliable”, a fad, or “not real music” Rubin and Simmons saw past fog ofcriticism to facilitate the creation of record label to fit the needs of theirculture.It was brazen audacity, which lead Shawn Fanning to create Napster in1999, and forever altered the course of distribution for commercialindustries. The invention of Napster and all that has followed may soondeliver its greatest legacy – an opportunity for an open source future.
  5. 5. 5Neither Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin nor Shawn Fanning wereCommunications Designers. But what they have designers can learn from.All three maintained a purity of vision. All three had the ability to see thepicture, not just the letter spacing. They had the ability to aggregateresources, information, skills sets and technology – understand culturalshifts and were able to capitalize with a viable commercial business (DefJam) and a revolutionary system (Napster) respectively.All three were combined creativity and action and reasonably put into placesystems that solved a problem and achieve results.Napster was a cross cultural phenomenon years ahead of its time. Themainstream understanding of peer-to-peer systems is that they primarilyabout getting free music. While this is true, its only a partial truth. Peopledon’t steal music to make money off it – they do so because they love themusic. The old style of distribution simple doesn’t fill the need – so analternative (piracy) is sought. For millennials it’s about culture and thecommunity they created. Some aren’t old enough to remember the days ofgoing to dingy record store in the east village and listen to the velvetunderground for the first time – but they do remember their first downloadon Napster.Music is personal. Music has no judgment. Your favorite record will nevermake you feel self-conscious. In fact, quite the contrary – music has powerto make you feel euphoric about your life. Personally I had nothing to dowith the creation of Napster. Nothing at all. But it felt like it was mine. I feltlike I was apart of something bigger – something new. I felt a connectionnot only to the community but to the artist behind the songs beyond wordsand sound, public appearances, interviews and live performances - becausethe music was so infinite and so available.This thesis is contingent on the hypothesis that new decentralizedpreferences for creating, accessing and exchanging copyrighted materials,i.e., popular music, call for the creation of a new system for thecompensation and distribution of this material. Because of the Designer’sability to aggregate resources, ideas, skills and information, the positionwill be assumed that designers will, within this context, assume the role of
  6. 6. 6a ‘process facilitator ‘– a great architect contributing to the systemicdesign necessary for compensation and distribution within a ‘freeexchange’ framework on the open market.The challenges and opportunities that are faced will not be solved bydesigners alone, but will be solved none the less. Can the music industry begreat again? Can designers be great again as well? Can the courage besummoned to present roles for Communication Designers withincommercial industries that are beyond the traditional to make use integralonce again?There once was a palace called the music industry. It was a palace and itcan be a palace again, in which there are no kings and queens – dukes orearls, but subjects all – subjects behold to one another to use creativity andaction to reasonably and rationally put into place that which is possibleand practical.My aim will not be for the destruction of the music industry, but rather tohelp save it. I do not call for the abandonment of physical music (inwhatever form it may take) but rather a new system for its enchantment.If nothing is done designers and commercial industries alike are nothingmore then sheep’s being lead into the final slaughter. I will not go downthat way. I choose to fight back – to live, not die – to rise, not fall.We will rise above it. We will rise above it all. For the value of music isinfinite and so do are the possibilities for the Designer.
  7. 7. 7Section 1: This Business of MusicExploring the technical side of the Music Industry; from its creation up tothe modern era and the relationship between this industry, the artist andthe designer.
  8. 8. 8A Star Is Born (Album: Blueprint 3, Jay-Z + J.Cole, 2 00 9)The Music Industry has its roots in the invention by Thomas Edisoninvented of the phonographic record player in 1877. Ironically musiciansbranded enough Edison a pirate and a thief at the time. They believedEdison had intentions to steal their work and that his phonographic recordswould destroy the live music business. That was until a system was workedout so that everyone could be paid royalties.With onset of widespread radio communications, the way music is heardwas changed forever. Opera houses, concert halls, and clubs continued toproduce music and perform live, but the power of radio allowed even themost obscure bands to form and become popular on a nationwide andsometimes worldwide scale. 1The “Record Label” eventually replaced the sheet music publishers as theindustry’s largest force. Some note worthy labels of the earlier decadesinclude Columbia Records, Crystalate, Decca Records, Edison Bell, TheGramophone Company, Invicta, Pathé, Victor Talking Machine Companyand many others. 1Many record labels died out as quickly as they had formed. By the end byof the 1980’s, the “Big 6” as they would come to be known as included themedia conglomerates of: EMI, CBS, BMG, PolyGram, WEA and MCAdominated the industry. Within these are the record labels. Sony boughtCBS Records in 1987 and changed its name to Sony Music in 1991. In mid1998 PolyGram merged into Universal Music Group (formerly MCA),dropping the leaders down to a “Big 5”. It wasn’t until 2004 when BMGmerged with Sony to become Sony BMG that they became the “Big 4.” 1
  9. 9. 9Money Cash Hoes (Album: Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z, 1 9 98)Music is big business on the United States. There are about 13,525commercial radio and 1,748 television stations in operation and anestimated 600 million radios and 254 million television sets in use. Ninety-nine percent of American homes have radios and 98% have at least onetelevision set. The average person listens to the radio for an estimated1,068 hours per year and watches 1,770 hours of television. 3The two satellite radio companies that cover the United States and parts ofCanada are XM and Sirius. Total US subscribers are currently reported 55million. 3Music is also an essential part of many DVD’s included feature films. By2002, over 1 billion DVD’s had been produced, making it then the fastedrecorded medium the mark. In 2004, DVD sales reached 16. 1 billion. 3Music for video games is also big business. The quality of a video gamessoundtrack is as important as a selling point for the game itself. Accordingto a survey conducted by Electronic Gaming Monthly, in 2005, 30% ofgammers purchase a CD containing music they first heard playing a game.Every year over 250 million games are sold. 3The music industry itself comprises various players, including individuals,companies, trade unions, not for profit associations, rights collectives, andother bodies. Professional musicians, including band leaders, rhythmsection members, musical ensembles, vocalists, conductors,composers/arrangers, and sound engineers create sound recordings ofmusic or perform live in venues ranging from small clubs to stadia.Occasionally professional musicians negotiate their wages,contractual conditions, and other conditions of work through Musicians’Unions or other guilds. 3
  10. 10. 10Composers and songwriters create the music and lyrics to songs and othermusical works, which are sold in print form as sheet music by musicpublishers. Composers and performers get part of their income fromwriters’ copyright collectives and performance rights organization such asthe ASCAP and BMI. These organizations that ensure that composers andperformers are compensated when their works are used on the radio or TVor in films. 3When musicians and singers make a CD or DVD, the creative process isoften coordinated by a record producer, whose role in the recording mayrange from suggesting songs and backing musicians to having adirect hands-on role in the studio, coaching singers, giving advice tosession musicians on playing styles and working with the senior soundengineer to shape the recorded sound through effects and mixing. 3Record label manage brands and trademarks in the course of marketingthe recordings, and they can also oversee the production of videos forbroadcast or retail sale. Labels may comprise a record group — one ormore label companies, plus ancillary businesses such as manufacturersand distributors. A record group may be, in turn, part of a music groupwhich includes music publishers. Publishers represent the rights in thecompositions—the music as written, rather than as recorded—and aretraditionally separate entities from the record label companies. Thepublisher of the composition for each recording may or may not be part ofthe record label’s music group.3Record labels that are not part of or under the control of the “Big Four”music groups are often classified as independent or “indie” labels, even ifthey are part of large, well-financed corporations with complex structures.Some music critics prefer to use the term indie label to refer to only thoseindependent labels that adhere to criteria of corporate structure and size,and some consider an indie label to be almost any label that releases non-mainstream music, regardless of its corporate structure. 1
  11. 11. 11Record labels may use a “A&R” (Artist and Repertoire) manager not just toseek out bands and singers to sign, but also to help develop the performingstyle of those already signed to the label. A&R managers may organizeshared tours with similar bands or find playing opportunities for the label’sgroups which will broaden their musical experience.1A record distributor company works with record labels to promote anddistribute sound recordings. Once a CD is produced, record distributioncompanies organize the shipping of the CD’s to music stores anddepartment stores. This chain is no different than most other commercialindustries in the business of selling physical items.1Successful artists may hire a number of people from other fields to assistthem with their career. The band manager oversees all aspects of anartist’s career in exchange for a percentage of the artist’s income. Anentertainment lawyer assists them with the details of their contracts withrecord companies and other deals. A business manager handles financialtransactions, taxes and bookkeeping. A booking agency represents theartist to promoters, makes deals and books performances. A road crew is asemi-permanent touring organization that travels with the artist. This isheaded by a tour manager and includes staff to move equipment on andoff-stage, drive tour buses or vans, and do stage lighting, live soundreinforcement and musical instrument tuning and maintenance. In rarecases a successful artist may add to the staff a ‘creative’ in the form of apersonal photographer and/or videographer, a graphic designer or a multidisciplined creative director. 1
  12. 12. 12The Golden Age Of Grotesque (Album: The Gol den A ge Of Gro tesque, Marilyn Ma nso n,20 03)Beginning in the mid 1950’s sales of sound recordings grew an average of20% a year. In the 1970’s sales rose from less than $2 billion at thebeginning of the decade to $4 billion in 1978; that year, however, salesbegan to fall sharply reflecting in par the American economy as well aseffect of home taping. 3But the situation changed in 1984. When Compact Discs entered theconsumer market, sales once again reached $4 billion. By 1988, thecombined dollar volume or record, tape and CD shipments rose $ 6.25billion. By 1998 sales figures for combined audio and music video producthas risen to $13.7 billion. Between 1997 and 1998 CD sales grew %15.1.By 2000 CD’s dominated unit sales pushing sales to $14 billion. 3During the 1990’s it became clear that the selling of CD was the bread andbutter for the Music Industry. Their distribution channel followed the samemodel used by other commercial industries. The basic channel is aone-way street between producer who hands off to distributor who sells toretailer who sell to you.The Artist & the lawIn this system the Artist often is lost in the shuffle though is the drivingengine behind CD’s. As columnist Kevin Maney wrote for the USA Today:“Only a relatively few American rockers ever sell enough CD’s to getfabulously rich. Should society care if rockers cant afford to build their ownbackyard amusement parks? 2 The Artists typically will receive less than.60 cents per unit sold. 3A recording agreement is usually written as an employment contract, andtherefore the record company will claim that the results and proceeds ofthe artists’ services belong to the record company as a work for hire. Thismeans that the artist retains no interest in the physical tapes or masters ofthe copyright in sound recordings and is restricted to a claim forcontractual compensation and royalties. 3
  13. 13. 13Under US Copyright Act, exclusive rights in sound recordings are limited toreproduction, the preparation of derivative works, and distribution.Traditional when we buy a CD, the musicians actually get very little of themoney we spend on it. Most of the money goes to the music company, andmost of the costs incurred by the music company go towards marketingnot towards the production of the music. 3When a CD is purchased the majority of income from that sale movedirectly to the Music Industry, not the artist. Is it possible that withoutcopyright protection the quality of music would actually increase? Insteadof relying on expensive marketing campaigns to become popular,musicians would actually have to rely on the quality of their music.The DesignerIn this in this system the Designers role was involved with the marketing,packaging, branding and advertising process. On the individual artist levelthey’re involved somewhere with “the look”. Websites, promotionalmaterial, music videos, stage design as well as more traditionally thealbum cover.The album cover is a component of the over all packaging of an album.Especially in the case of vinyl records with cardboard sleeves, thesepackages are prone to wear and tear, although wear and tear does oftentake place to some degree on covers contained within plastic cases. 1Album covers serve the purpose of advertising the musical contents on theLP, through the use of graphic design, photography, and/or illustration. Analbum cover normally has the artist’s name, sometimes in logo form; andthe album title. Other information is seldom included on the cover, and isusually contained on the rear or interior of the packaging, such as a tracklisting together with a more detailed list of those involved in making therecord, band members, guest performers, engineers and producer. On thespine of the package, the artist, title, and reference number are usuallyrepeated so that albums can be identified while tightly packed on ashelf.1
  14. 14. 14With the increasing popularity of digital music downloading service and theinflating cost of conducting business, the purpose and prevalence of thealbum cover is evolving.While the music industry tries to keep up with technological and culturalshifts, the role that packaging (and thus the traditional role of the designer)will play in consumer music sales in the near future is uncertain, althoughits role is certainly changing, and digital forms of packaging will continue tosurface, which, to some degree (and to some consumers) take the place ofphysical packaging. 1However, as of 2008 it should be noted that physical music products, witha physical “album cover”, continue to outsell digital downloads by asubstantial margin. 9
  15. 15. 15Goodbye Babylon (Album: Magic Potion, The Black Keys , 2 0 06)In the 21st century, consumers spent less money on recorded music thanthey had in 1990’s, in all formats. Total revenues for CD’s, vinyl, cassettesand digital downloads in the world dropped 25% from $38.6 billion in1999 to $27.5 billion in 2008 according to IFPI. Same revenues in the U.S.dropped from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $10.4 billion in 2008. TheEconomist and The New York Times report that the downward trend isexpected to continue for the foreseeable future.7Forrester Research predicts that by 2013, revenues in USA may reach aslow as $9.2 billion.7 This dramatic decline in revenue has caused large-scale layoffs inside the industry, driven retailers (such as Tower Records)out of business and forced record companies, record producers, studios,recording engineers and musicians to seek new business models. 9 Manytop industry executives agree that the music industry is in a downwardspiral and advise all up and coming artists, especially the plethora of trendfollowing pop and hip hop artists and producers, to “get out while they stillcan” 1The IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industries) estimatesthat lost sales due to piracy amounted to $4.6 billion worldwide in 2004.According the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), out of the27,000 records released annually in the United States only 10% areprofitable, and it’s often the hit records that are the target of pirates. 3
  16. 16. 16This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed (Album: De-Lo used In The Comatori um, The Marts Vo lta,2003)Not long ago, if you wished to get your hands on a piece of music you hadto take the money saved up in your pocket, take a trip to the local recordstore and sift through the racks. The good ol’ days. 4 Now it’s infinite andinstant. And above all, for those who want to accept it or not – it’s almostall free. As consumers relationship with music change, throughtechnological advances and cultural shifts – so to must the commercialindustry built around the distribution of popular music. 5Every time technological advances came along – at every step, the peopleinvested in the music business at the time look at it as a threat to theirlivelihoods. The knee-jerk reaction is to seek and destroy. 6 If you had aphonograph player in your house, why would you ever go outside of yourhouse to listen to live music again? In the 1980’s the music industry tookout full-page ads in Billboard and other magazines saying, “Home taping iskilling music”. They thought that because people had cassette tapes, theywould just tape their friends’ music and never buy albums again. 6Advances did not decrease the desire for music, but rather exponentiallyincreases it. More people are listening to more music now, than at anyother time in history. Why is that a bad thing? 6
  17. 17. 17Works Cited – Section 11) Music Industry, Wikipedia, 2009,, 10,October 20102) Matt Mason, The Pirates Dilemma: How Youth Culture is ReinventingCapitalism (New York: Free Press, 2008) 148 – 1603) M.William Krasilovsky, Sydney Shemel, This Business of Music 10th Edition(Crown Publishing Group, 2007) 4-124) Music’s Lost Decade: Sales Cut in Half, David Goldman, 2010,, 10, October 20105) The Golden Age if Infinite music, John Harris, 2010,, 10, October 20106) Greg Kot: How the Internet Changed Music, Claire Suddath, Times, 21May 2009,,8816,1900054,00.html,7) Digital Sales Surpass CDs at Atlantic, Tim Arango, November 25, 2008 .The New York Times. 1,October 2010.8) Steve Knopper, Appetite for Self-Destruction: the Spectacular Crash of theRecord Industry in the Digital Age. (Free Press 2009)9) Digital album packaging should improve in 2008, Antony Bruno,Reuters, December 31, 2007,, 1 October2010
  18. 18. 18Section 2: The Modern EraExploring the upheaval of the Music Industry within the past decade andwhat these changes could mean for the future of this commercial industryand its relationship to all who support it.
  19. 19. 19The Day The Whole World Went Away (Album: Fragile, Nine Inc h Nails 19 99)In June of 1999 a US teenager wrote a computer program that turned themusic industry on its head. It created shockwaves that are still being felt bythe global entertainment business over a decade later. 4Shawn Fanning was a 19 year old undergraduate in Boston when hecreated Napster. Fanning’s program let friends connect and share musicon their computers, a precursor to Facebook. Initially, it seemed innocentenough but Napster unleashed a social, technical and commercialrevolution. 2By letting friends swap MP3 tracks, perfect digital copies of music, Napstermade the casual copying and exchanging of music among friends into aglobal, automated and simple process that threatened the music industry,whose business model was in no way geared or even prepared, for thedigital online age. 4Napster allowed connected users to share the MP3 contents of their harddrives, using peer to peer technology to move the files from one machine toanother. The program was the first mainstream peer-to-peer technologyand a giant wake up call for the music industry, particularly record labels,who had not come to terms with the impact the net would have on theirbusiness models. 4In a few months, Napster exploded beyond the university campus and wasbeing used by 85 million people around the world, with a billion searchesfor music every day. 4For the music industry, Napster represented the gravest possible threat tomusic and to the business model that had served it so well for almost 50years. Within months of the service launching, the Recording IndustryAssociation of America (RIAA), The lobbyist organization for the musicindustry sued Napster. In 2002 Napster was shut down. 4
  20. 20. 20File sharing didn’t go away with Napster. Hardly. They evolved, got smarterand built decentralized servers. Napsters Achilles heel was that it ran on acentralized server. 7 Illegal file-sharing remains rampant, despite a host ofother legal actions against websites and computer programs as well aslawsuits against thousands of individuals charged with facilitating filesharing. 4Change The Game (Album: The Dynasty Roc La Familia, Jay-Z, 2 00 0)Following in Napsters stead came systems like BitTorrent, and programslike OiNK Pink Palace. OiNK Pink Palace (a precursor to iTunes) was aninvitation only BitTorrent tracking community with about 180,000 userscreated by programmer Alan Ellis in 2004. 8 It was a genuine community.OiNK placed an emphasis of the sharing of torrents for high quality MP3’sand multiple lossless audio formats such as FLAC. One of OiNK’s rules wasthat users could not pay to gain membership to the site, but had anopportunity to donate money to the site. 8BitTorrent is a peer 2 peer protocol, or method, that allows people to sharedata much more efficiently and at greater transfer speeds than previous filesharing software. What BitTorrent does is remove limitations by allowingfor a virtually unlimited number of people to connect to one another andshare the same file at the same time. The idea behind BitTorrent is to allowmassive distribution of popular files without penalizing the source bysoaring bandwidth costs and possible crashes due to demand that exceedsthe capability of the server. In this way, anyone who creates a popularprogram, music file or other product can make it available to the publicregardless of assets, even if the file becomes highly popular. 10To some OiNK Pink Palace the worlds greatest record store. Pretty muchanything you could imagine, it was there and in any format you wanted. 9 In2007 after years of legal battles, OiNK was shutdown by copyrightauthorities.
  21. 21. 21But its legacy lives on. What the Music Industry cant understand is thatOiNK, like Napster before it was about the culture – the millennial and thecommunity it created. Some aren’t old enough to remember the days ofgoing to dingy record store in the east village and listen to the VelvetUnderground for the first time – but they do remember their first downloadon Napster. 8CD sales are falling, while legal services have yet to make up for the lostrevenue. 4 Every month 2.6 billion music files are downloaded illegally.That number doesn’t include the movies, TV shows, software and videogames that circulate online. 7 U.S. album sales tumbled for the eighth timein nine years as the rate of growth in legal digital downloads slid in aturnaround from recent years, according to industry figures. Sales haveplummeted 52 percent from the industry’s high-water mark of 785.1million units in 2000. 6But the unanswerable question – the pink elephant in the room is what 4would have happened to the music industry if Napster had not emerged.Better yet, what would the industry look like today – if they embracedradical new forms of distribution?The undeniable truth is that the music industry would be in better shapenow if it had engaged with Napster or OiNK Pink Palace rather than theirseek and destroy attitude.However it is also true that music industry in 1999, when Napster debuted,would have struggled to create that business model because of rightsissues, a lack of good copyright protection software and an inability totrack downloads so that royalties were properly awarded. The musicindustry took on Napster because the file-sharing system had no interest indeveloping the elements needed to turn it into a business. 5 The businessmodel for the music industry was based around the selling of CD’s. In thatsense the what’s really struggling in not the music industry but thebusiness of selling plastic disc.
  22. 22. 22But that doesn’t mean they should’ve have at least tried. With someinnovation, emphasis on research and development investment and “other”facilities making decisions (besides those traditional peeps of the musicindustry) who knows what could’ve been achieved.To the RIAA Napster was a form of piracy. But what piracy is, at its core, isa market signal. It is a wake up for business making them aware of the factthat something in their model is either outdated or need shifting.Today the music industry has a better understanding of with digitaldistribution. The Industry currently licenses hundreds of thousands of theirmusic to downloaded on popular web based record store iTunes. But file-sharing sites and technologies that have since emerged since the late 90’sare doing damage to the music industry business model. Clearly anopportunity was missed some ten years ago. Much like cassettes in the1980’s the music industry saw Napster as a threat. Their mission becameseek and destroy rather than, at the minimum, developing anunderstanding of cultural shifts and technological advances. 5No, You Dont (Album: The Fragile Nine In ch Nails 1 99 9)Radical new forms of distribution of popular music within the framework ofa commercial business are currently in their puppetry years. The fight tostifle contain or seek and destroy piracy represents anindustry going though growing pains.The Music Industry is very busy in its efforts to clamp down on illicit P2P –the same treatment they gave Napster in 1999 only this time enlisting thehelp of the Federal Government. By trying to get the government to clampdown on users, they risk alienating music’s greatest fans, and bringingcopyright into disrepute. 5 You can’t simple sue your way back tosomeone’s heart.The 10th annual Future of Music Policy Summit was a three day conferencefilled with presentations and dialogue among tech heads, policy makers,artists and record-label executives - all plotting a new future for the musicindustry.
  23. 23. 23In attendance was US President Barack Obama’s new copyright czar,Victoria Espinel. A few months ago she introduced a strategy for dealingwith Internet file-sharing (or “smash and grab” as it was described by VicePresident Joe Biden), which has been linked to a 50 percent decline inmusic-industry revenue over the last decade. 5The music industry’s implosion has become a cause that even the federalgovernment can’t ignore because the same issue – unfettered exchange ofInternet files – has bled into the movie, publishing and even the AdultEntertainment industry. Now any intellectual property that can be digitizedcan also be shared/stolen/cannibalized within seconds of hitting theInternet, and multibillion-dollar businesses, most of them with roots firmlyplanted in the pre-digital 20th Century distribution are crying foul. 5Without directly indicting consumers, she outlined a strategy for containingfile-sharing that suggested that many digital music fans will need to altertheir behavior or else risk being cut off from the Internet at the very least.However 95 percent of file-sharers consume music “illegally.” That is, theytraffic in copyrighted music files that are readily available on the Internet. 5Does that mean tens of millions of Americans are technically “criminals” byfederal standards? Or does piracy represent a better way to consumecontent for a growing section of the population?When questioned about the disconnect between policy and the way manyAmerican citizens behave when using their computers or cellphones, shemerely insisted that there is “no inherent conflict” and that “the majority ofconsumers don’t want to engage in illegal content.” 5“The last thing we need is more sticks” to beat down file sharers, saidEddie Schwartz, president of the Songwriters Association of Canada. “Weneed to find legal ways to file-share.” 5The most popular trend is to insist the Internet service providers becomepart of the solution. A number of European countries have enlisted serviceproviders to police their customers; those who engage in illegal file sharinghave their Internet access restricted or cut off.
  24. 24. 24Steve Marks of the Recording Industry Association of America, whichrepresents the major labels, said, “It’s not a secret that all content holdersare interested in pursuing deals with ISP’s that make sense.” That couldmean the imposition of additional fees on Internet users, which opens upanother set of issues: Who would collect the fees and who would distributethem not only to license-holders but to the artists themselves -- often thebottom of any revenue food chain? 5No one questioned that music still has considerable value -- more peopleare listening to more music than at any time in history. But how to turnthat stream into a river of green for artists remains unresolved. Reconcilinga legion of business interests all looking for a stake in a new form ofdistribution and a nation of consumers who are used to getting their musicdigitally for free will not be easy.For years, the music industry was confined to four multinationalcorporations that dominated the revenue stream of 70% of the musiccoming in, and four or five radio conglomerates that controlled what musicwas going out. 2Today consumers are broken up into millions and of little pieces andsubcultures and niches that are serving small, really dedicatedcommunities of music lovers.Listeners may not necessarily pay for that one song or the one album, butif they’re intrigued enough, they’re going to start following an artist orband. Fans will show up at your show or buy the merchandise or buy thenext CD or the vinyl version of the MP3 they just downloaded. 2 If you’re agood band and making quality music, your fans are going to want everypiece of what you put out. Once an audience is there, all sort of moneymaking opportunities emerge.
  25. 25. 25F**K This Industry (Album: Flockaveli, Waka Floc k a Flame, 20 1 0)It’s no secret there’s lot of concern these days about what the musicindustry will look like going forward – especially from those who work onthe label side of the business and have been around for some time. Avariety of things have caused rapid change in the market. 14Competition from other forms of entertainment have, such as the internet,movies and video games, have put more pressure on the industry, asconsumers have been presented with significantly more options for theirentertainment attention and dollars. And of course there is file-sharing – oras the industry prefers to call it (accurately or not) “piracy.” 14There is solution seems to be simple: “stop worrying and learn to embracethe business models that are already helping musicians make plenty ofmoney and use file sharing to their advantage, even in the absence oflicensing or copyright enforcement.” The model can be defined as: Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model. 14Trent Reznor, the man behind the band Nine Inch Nails, has done so manyexperiments that show how this model works that it’s difficult to describethem all. He’s become a true leader in showing how this model works in away that has earned him millions while making fans happy, rather thanturning them into the enemy. Reznor has always reached out to his fans,and has an amazingly comprehensive website, with forums, chat roomsand many other ways of interacting. He encourages fans to better connectwith each other as well. 14With his release of the album Ghosts I-IV, he released all the tracks under aCreative Commons license allowing anyone to share them online for free.Yet, he also set up some “reasons to buy.” 14 You could get the two discCD, if you wanted, for just $10. Above that, though, was a Deluxe EditionPackage, for $75. It was, effectively, a box set, but around a singlealbum. Beyond the two CD’s it also included a DVD and a Blu-Ray and aphotobook of images.
  26. 26. 26Where the experiment got even more interesting was that he offered up the$300 Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition Package -- of which there was a limit ofjust 2,500 available. This was an even more impressive “box” that alsoincluded the songs on high quality vinyl, and some beautiful giclée printimages. 14It took just 30 hours for all 2,500 to sell out, bringing in $750,000 in justover a day. For music he was giving away for free. But, by connectingwith fans, and giving them a reason to buy, they did. In the first weekalone, combining all the other offerings for Ghosts I-IV, Reznor brought in$1.6 million. Again, this is for music he was giving away for free.14 The ideathat you “can’t compete with free” or that free means there’s no businessmodel is a myth.Reznor’s next album, The Slip, was released just a few months later, andagain, was given away entirely free, but it was released the very same dayas he announced his next Nine Inch Nails tour. All he asked, if you wantedto download the music, was that you provide an email address. He thengave fans the option of what quality to download the songs -- all the way upto lossless FLAC files. All for free. But, if you downloaded the files, you alsolearned about the tour, and the tickets were quickly snapped up. The freemusic didn’t hurt Reznor’s ability to earn money. It enhanced it. 14Some have complained that Reznor is not a practicalexample. After all, thathuge fanbase came about in large part because of his success under the“old” model, where he was signed to a major record label who helpedpromote his album and turn him into an international rock star.In the earlier part of this decade, Cory Smith was a high school teacher,playing open mic nights on weekends. But then, he started focusing onbuilding his music career. He started playing numerous live shows, andreally worked hard to connect with fans. He gave away all of his music forfree off of his website, and used that to drive more fans to his shows. 14
  27. 27. 27On top of that, he offered special $5 pre-sale tickets to many shows, whichhas a useful side effect: his biggest fans would convince many others to goas well, building up his fan base, and getting more people to go to moreshows. He tried pulling his free music off of his website as an experiment,and saw that his sales on iTunes actually dropped when he did that. 14In 2008, mostly thanks to live shows, Corey was able to gross nearly $4million. While giving his music away for free. Connecting with fans andgiving them a reason to buy worked wonders. 14Jonathon Coulton was a computer programmer. In September of 2006, hedecided to write, record and release a new song every week for a year --with all of the songs being released under a Creative Commons license, soanyone could share them. And share them they did. Coulton became a cultsensation, and was making a good living within months of this decision. Hisfans were supporting him along the way, even creating music videos forevery song he released. 14He started using services like Eventful to more strategically target concertopportunities. If enough people requested a show in a certain location, heknew it would be profitable and started “parachuting” in to do shows thathe knew would make him money. Again, by connecting with fans and givingthem a real reason to buy, he was able to build up a great following andmake a good living.14Amanda Palmer is a singer who made a name for herself as a member ofthe “punk cabaret duo” The Dresden Dolls. While she put out a solo albumon Roadrunner Records (a subsidiary of Warner Music), she found that theyhad little interest in promoting her, so she decided to take matters into herown hands. She reached out directly to fans on services like Twitter, oftensetting up “flash gigs” where people would show up wherever she wanted toperform. In June of 2008, one such flash gig at a beach in Los Angelesended up with an impromptu music video for a song that Palmer had justlearned that morning, due to a suggestion from a fan on Twitter. And she’sdoing a good job making money, as well. 14
  28. 28. 28Bored in her apartment one evening, she started twittering with fans andcame up with a jokey t-shirt suggestion, and set up an immediate store,selling $11,000 worth of t-shirts in days. Another night, she started a livevideo stream from her apartment, and started an impromptu online auctionfor various items in her apartment associated with a recent tour, often witha personalized twist. In three hours, she brought in $6,000. Connectingwith fans and offering them something fun and unique to buy workedwonders. 14To date, she hasn’t received a single royalty check from Warner Music onher album. 14Hip Hop as a culture grew up In part because if freely distribution is theform of mixtapes. It’s a way to connect with fans. Popular rapper LilWayne spent two years giving away music for free in the form of mixtapes,radio spots, and guest spots on other artist’s songs.In 2007 his album The Carter III, in spite of the album being leaked, soldover one million CD’s its first week, a figure unheard of in this market.Fans and artists are connecting directly and doing so in a way that worksand makes money. Putting in place middlemen only takes a cut away fromthe musicians and serves to make the markets less efficient. They need todeal with overhead and bureaucracy. They need to deal with collections andallocation. They make it less likely for fans to support bands directly,because the money is going elsewhere. Even when licensing fees areofficially paid further up the line, those costs are passed on to the endusers, and the money might not actually go to supporting the music theyreally like. 14Music with a price is content. Music that is shared freely acts asinformation. One is used to sell the other. Ultimately what music is anexperience. It’s hard to get “experience” off of free audio files.
  29. 29. 29Freely distributing music online independently has been easy, allowing actsto grow a fan base and turn a profit of their music. Suddenly radioplaylists, MTV, and A&R are not the all-powerful gatekeepers to success. 13But we must stop thinking of free as in a free beer and more along the linesof free speech.
  30. 30. 30Im Free From the Chain Gang Now (Album: A merican V : A Hundred Highways , J ohnny Cash,2006)Lets assume the position that the music industry isn’t loosing money –they’re just not making as much money as they want. And the blame for alltheir woes falls squarely on their shoulders.More music is being produced today than ever before and plenty of peopleare still making a ton of money in the music business. What’s actually introuble is the traditional form commercial distribution and centralizedownership of the means of production, not the music industry itself.Somewhere along with way record companies figured out that it’s a lotmore profitable to control the distribution system (plastic disc) than toartists. And since the companies didn’t have any real competition, artisthad no other place to go. 13 Record companies controlled the promotionand marketing; only they had the ability to get lots or radio play and getrecords into all the big chain stores. The power them above the artist andthe audience. They owned the plantation. 13The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) blames file sharingfor the industries decline, ignoring many other factors. Radio ratings haveplummeted in recent years, as more people tune into MP3 players (makingtheir own play list) or talk on their cell phones rather than listening to thetop forty on their drive home from work. 13A 2004 Harvard study that matched the hard data on downloading againstthe actual market performance of the song sand albums being downloadedfound that any negative effects downloading has on CD sales was“statistically indistinguishable from zero. The study concluded that filesharing was actually boosting CD sales for the top 25 percent of albumsthat had more than six hundred thousand sales. 15According to the study for every 150 songs downloaded, sales jumped byone CD, because those downloading these songs and albums were not thepeople who would have bought these albums or singles in the first place. 15
  31. 31. 31A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project asked three thousandmusicians and songwriters their views on file sharing in April 2004. A totalof 35 percent of those polled said that file sharing was not necessarily bad,because it helped market and distribute their work: 35 percent said file-sharing had actually boosted their reputation. Only 23 percent of thoseasked agreed that file-sharing was harmful: 83 percent said they haddeliberately put free samples of their music online. 13The fact of the matter is that theirs is no hard evidence to support the ideathat free distribution of music is leading to a decline in profit. The truth isthat the CD market went into decline because it’s become an obsoleteformat, peddled by an out-of-touch industry too stubborn the change. Theonly reason why the majors had it so good for song long was they couldkeep selling people back their entire record collections on records, thentapes then CD. Once the majors became multinationals, complacency setin and output suffered, Add to this the consolidation of radio stations intosmaller conglomerates and suddenly you have a business with a range ofproducts as diverse as a McDonalds menu. The death of the recordindustry was the best thing that could’ve happened to the business ofmaking music. 13So lets we can now set aside the myth that the music industry is in trouble.Its only in trouble if you’re solely in the business of selling little plasticdiscs – and that’s because those discs are increasingly obsolete.The story of the record industries response to file sharing is relevant toevery other business, because the communities and technologies thatchanged music could affect every area of our economy. As new economicsystems underpinned by sharing begin to out compete markets,understanding piracy will become a priority for nations organizations andindividuals alike.
  32. 32. 32Works Cited – Section 21) The Golden Age if Infinite music, John Harris, 2010,, 10, October 20102) Greg Kot: How the Internet Changed Music, Claire Suddath, 21 May 2009,,8816,1900054,00.html, 1, October 20103) Future of Music 2010: The Wild, wild west new sheriff has a tough job ahead of her,Greg Kot, 6 October 2010,, 9 November 20104) Napster: 10 years of change, Darren Waters, 8 June 2009,, 9 October 20105) Music Industry ‘missed’ Napster, BBC News, 26 June 2009,, 9 November 20106) U.S. Album Sales dropped in 2009, Reuters, 10 January 2010,, 24 May 2010.8) Oink Pink Palace, Wikipedia, 2009,, 4 October 2010.9) Trent Reznor: OiNK Was Better Than iTunes, Eliot Buskirk, 31 October 2007,, 4 October 201010) What is BitTorrent? A Beginners Guide, Jared Moya, 2 April 2008,, 9November 201012) The Music Industry, Mike Masnikc, 17th August 2007,, 4 October 201013) Matt Mason, The Pirates Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism (NewYork: Free Press, 2008) 148 – 160, 12514) The Future of Music Business Models (And Those Who Are Already There), MikeMasnikc, 25th January 2010,, 4 October 201015) File Sharing May Boost CD Sales, Beth Potier / Harvard News Office, 15th April 2004,, 4 October 2010
  33. 33. 33Section 3: Culture & The Open FutureA brief overview of cultural shifts (both past and present) as they relatetowards trends in ‘sharing’ and a conclusive summation of what changesare needed to meet these demands.
  34. 34. 34Mere Anarchy Is Loosed Upon The WorldYouth culture tends to act as social experiments. They are catalyst forchange. For the last 60 years, capitalism has run a pretty tight ship in theWest. But in increasing numbers, pirates are hacking into the hull andholes are starting to appear. Privately owned property, ideas, and privilegesare leaking out into the public domain beyond anyone’s control.The idea of free has to be looked at in a different light not as in a free beer,but as in free speech. Acts of free distribution will not only changedistribution in general, but have been integral to some of the mostinfluential youth cultures of our time.Hip HopHip hop has long since dominated youth culture for decades, and has bredbrilliant entrepreneurs who are now among the richest people in America.In the beginning, Hip Hop got its license to operate in the South Bronxbecause it was an escape, a way for people to stop fighting and to channelthat energy into breaking, rapping, DJ-ing and graffiti. Hip Hop doesn’trecognize or respect tradition in the traditional sense. It grew from acommunity who’d had their history stolen. It got its acceptance outside theBronx by borrowing and remixing elements from other scenes, such aspunk, funk and disco. Anyone can be part of Hip Hop, anyone can borrowit, but nobody can own it. 3In hip hop’s earliest days, the music only existed in live form, and themusic was spread via tapes of parties and shows Hip hop mixtapes firstappeared in the mid 1970’s in New York City. 5 As more tapes becameavailable, they began to be collected and traded by fans. In the mid-1980’s,Djs began recording their live music and distributing their own mixtapesand the mixtapes of obscure Artists. Soon this was followed by other Djs. 6Mixtapes became increasingly popular by the mid-1990s and fansincreasingly looked for exclusive tracks and freestyles on the tapes.Mixtapes are now commonly used by labels and new artists as apromotional tool as a way of generating hype in a sales model relying onword of mouth to increase the artist’s credibility. Often each track on apromotional hip hop mixtape will feature the same artist, thus making it
  35. 35. 35more difficult to differentiate from a standard album. Mixtapes will usuallyhave much lower production values than a studio album or roughly mixedversions of the tracks and contain numerous collaborations, remixes,freestyles and voice-overs. 5Hip Hop as a culture was able to spread because of the freely distributedmusic in the form of mixtapes. The Recording Industry Association ofAmerica, a political lobby group funded by the major record corporations,classifies these mixtapes as bootleg or pirated music CD’s. 5PUNKIn the 1970’s Punk was a youth culture. In Britain it was a reaction tounemployment, boredom and the lack of opportunity many young peoplesaw in their future. Punk empowered ordinary people. Not only did theyencourage others to start making music, but also to deign their ownclothes, start their own magazines and set up gigs, demonstrations, recordstores and record labels. Punk resisted authority, saw anarchy as the pathto a brighter future and inspired a generation to do it yourself. 3The ideas punk amplified are reaching a fever pitch. Today we see theaftereffects of punk everywhere. Once disregarded, Punk is now anaccepted and idealized. But this counter-culture could’ve only serviced ifnot for it illegal broadcasting and distribution of its content. 3As music historian Clinton Heylins suggests in Bootleg: The Secret Historyof the Other Recording Industry, “It could be argued that the influence andimpact of the original punk bands lingered on only because theirmusic was bootlegged.” 3
  36. 36. 36Generation Y-PayCall it the curse of availability but less than one in two 16 to 34 years oldsbelieve they should pay to download TV and movies from the web, says TheIndustry Trust for IP Awareness (Itipa), a UK based organization set up topromote “copyright and all the good stuff it does” within the UK. 1 They arereferred to as Generation Y-Pay – an entire generation predisposition tofree. Every month 2.6 billion files are downloaded illegally, and that formusic. 2 What this generation represents is the pirate dilemma. Thequestion is, do we fight pirates, or do we learn from them? 1There was a time when information was treated a property. Currentcopyright laws reflect this Information would fly out in only one directionbetween producers and consumers, broadcasters and receivers. Nowinformation is a two way street. Now, its not always treated as property andanyone can broadcast a signal of their own – producing, remixing or re-purposing information.As a result commercial industries, like the music industry are breakingdown under their own weight and old business models are beginning todisappear. Are commercial industries being bleed dry by generation y orare they simple highlighting that their business models are outdated, theirdistribution is out of touch and the technology they’re peddling is obsolete?
  37. 37. 37The Free-ist of Free Market Capitalism.As Machiavelli once said: “It must be remembered that there is nothingmore difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous tomanagement than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has theenmity of all would profit by the preservation of the old institutions andmerely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.What gives something value? Is it the set price? Is it the quality? Is it thecontent?When people began sharing MP3’s and changed the way the musicbusiness does business once again – they created a better distributionsystem. iTunes and Prince’s NPG Music Club were the first attempts atmaking major steps towards legitimizing this business model. As Steve Jobputs it: “If you want to stop piracy – the way to stop it is by competing withit” Today selling of plastic discs only accounts for a quarter of what weconsider to be the music business. Piracy was a market signal. 3Like Punk and Hip Hop - Generation Y understands that there was a betterway to consume music.CD sales in 2009 have dropped nearly 55% since their peak tin 1999 –including digital album sales.When something is given away for free, the conventional wisdom is that ithold no value – it makes no money. But this might be wrong. What givessomething value? Is it the set price? Is it the quality? Is it the content?Paulo Coelho wrote a book called The Alchemist. It was released in the late80’s and has become a worldwide best seller – until they reached Russia.For one reason or another his publishers couldn’t figure out why this book,which is loved everywhere else, wasn’t selling in Russia. So behind hispublishers back Coelho started a blog called the Pirate Coelho – andstarted posting links to where fans could get pirated e-books of TheAlchemist for free. 3
  38. 38. 38The Alchemist went from selling 1000 copies a year to 100,000 copies ayear in Russia? Coelho realized that the free e-book was information andthe hard copy was property – he used one to sell the other.The same is true for cable network AMC’s recent hit series The WalkingDead. Not only did this television series break ratings records for thenetwork, but also it was the most pirated television series of 2010. 7 Piracydidn’t hurt the series – it enhanced it. It allowed the message of the showto spread without borders or restrictions thus adding to its popularity. 7Freely consumed content through piracy acted as information – informationthat increased the popularity of the series which is theproperty.Popular British sketch comedy series Monty Python was televised from1969 to 1975. In recent years Monty Python decided to launch a “crazy”campaign which included posting all of their Monty Python content onyoutube, for free. They asked, in return, that those who view considerbuying the actual DVD through a provided link. And you know what? Itworked. Python’s DVD’s climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TVbestsellers list in 2009, with increased sales of 23,000 percent. 10 Thefreely distributed content on their youtube channel acted as information –the property in the form of DVD’s was helped. 10Just as commercial industries are under like the music industry are in astate a chaos – so to is the role of a designer within these industries. We nolonger pay attention. Bad advertising is no longer working. You now have achoice as to whether you engage with traditional advertising. Traditionalroles for designer include crafted forms of communication – that arebecoming less and less relevant to people’s lives. People are now able tofilter out the crap. It doesn’t how big you make your logo or your pricepoint, we can filter it out and our brains will just ignore it.Chicago ad agency BBDO Energy came to the same conclusion in a studydone in 2005. “Consumers are no longer buying what everyone else isselling,” they announced. “What happened? For starters, being ‘different’ isno longer a difference for a brand. And being disruptive no longer getsconsumers attention. After years of being of being told what to buy,
  39. 39. 39consumers have changed their minds. They view brands as less relevant,they say they feel disconnected and unimportant – bystanders rather thanparticipants.” 3 So many ads shout at us all the time, one on its own isabout as relevant as a single scribbled tag in a train car full of them. Wesimple tune them out like white noise.As we spread this world with complex technical systems – on top of thenatural and social systems already here – old style, top down, outside indesign simple wont work. The days of the celebrity designer are over.Complex systems are shaped by all the people who use them, and in thenew era of collaborative innovation, designers are having to evolve formbeing the individual authors of objects or buildings, to being facilitators ofchange among large groups of people. 4Designers are more than just individuals clever at desktop publishingsoftware. Designers are creators. They breathe life into dust. We seebeyond restrictions and take on challenges to turn the impossible into thepossible. The value from creation is infinite, and so to are the possibilitiesfor designers. Music is a form of creation. The value from creation is notrestricted to dimes and nickels – for it is infinite.ConclusionSince 2000 the music industry and their political platform the RecordingIndustry of America (RIAA) have spent over $90 million in lobbying policymakers in the United States alone for copyright protection and to maintainthe status quo. 8 It is clear that any effort to bring about change in thebusiness of music will require change copyright laws - change that willactually reflect how a growing section of the population consume content.Many content creators who have copyright available to them clearly don’tvalue that copyright very much. A huge percentage of content creatorssimply chose not to renew their copyrights, because they knew there waslittle or no value in the copyright itself. Only 35% is ever renewed. In fact,the only type of work that had a renewal rate higher than 50% was movies,which came in at 74%. 9
  40. 40. 40The content creator clearly is no longer getting any benefit out of thecopyright at that stage, and thus reverting the work to the public domainmakes the most sense. 9Music is content that can and should be available to make the publicdomain more fruitful and to enable new creative works -- and yet it getslocked up anyway, even though the very people copyright law is supposedto protect clearly don’t value what copyright gives them. So why do we stillautomatically give them copyrights, thereby harming the public domain,while adding little to no benefit to the content creators themselves? 9What is called for is a counter to the lobbying efforts by the music industryand the RIAA.A collective platform modeled after political lobbyists and think tanks forthe formulation and promotion of the structural reinvention of the waycontent (popular music) is distributed and consumed.This platform, other lobbyist groups and think tanks will take its messagedirectly to policy makers and individuals alike by pushing for: (1) Thedecentralization of the music industry (2) Copyright reform to reflect howcontent is currently consumed that will free up content from its currentrestrictions. (3) The systemic design necessary for a legal, open and freeform of file sharing for the creation, sharing and distribution of popularmusic. (4) Realization that such reforms and such will equal a viableeconomic model.Parenthetically, the aim of such a platform will not be to destroy the musicindustry, but rather to save it. We will not call for the abandonment ofphysical music (in whatever form it may take) but rather a new system forits enchantment.
  41. 41. 41Tomorrow’s business of music will not just be about open source, or freedistribution or copyright reform – but rather it will be about the people overthe process; about responding to change not following a plan; aboutcollaboration over laws and negotiations; and about design an business andsystem for the sharing of popular music that is actionable and relatable inpeoples daily lives.The designer will organize collective platform for the formulation andimplementation of business models and public policy around the creation,distribution and sharing of music. The designer will act as processfacilitators, but bring together those who have shared sensibility including,but no limited to: lawyers, engineers, computer scientist, popular musicalacts, marketers and those who work in the music industry - into a sharedcollective.Such a file sharing system will rely on the principles of open sourcetechnology. That is to say: (1) The system must be freely available or itcan be part of a package that is sold. (2) Any artist (content maker) mustbe allowed to add to (or modify to) with content individually or as part of apackage. Modified versions can be redistributed. (3) And fans must beallowed to freely access (take) and share (put in) all content.The designer will organize this collective platform (process facilitators), butbring together those who have shared sensibility including, but no limitedto: lawyers, engineers, computer scientist, popular musical acts, marketersand those who work in the music industry into a shared collective.What the Music Industry represents with centralization of ownership andmeans of production is not the free market at work, but rather an extensionof Feudalism. It is the enemy of freedom. Systems based on open sourcetechnology work like the youth the youth cultures that dreamed them up,open environments that can infect people with the passion of those whobuilt them and become self-perpetuating, growing sustainable and oftensubstantially. In essence, they are the free-ist of free market capitalism.
  42. 42. 42Successful open source based projects are driven by the passions of theiraudience. Open source projects inspire people with new ideas and will gainsupport because there is nothing else like it. The same is true for such anexisting system like Wikipedia whose cause is amassing all out knowledgein one place, for free, is a worthy one. The lawyers who contribute to opensource projects such as do so for the same reasonsHip Hop DJ’s promoted obscure music in the 1980’s for very little pay: theybelieved in carving out a different way of doing things.A business model based on an open free file sharing system will strike abalance between encouraging innovation and creation without giving awayso much that you cannot sustain the model. For example, using freelydistributed music as information and using the physical form and content.The information helps give fans a reason to buy the content.Some would also argue that what is proposed is actually digitalcommunication. But this is wrong. In fact is exactly the opposite. What anopen and free form of file sharing system for the distribution of popularmusic will accomplish is the laying of a foundation for new ecosystems ofprivate enterprise that will reinvigorate competition and break inefficientconglomerates.
  43. 43. 43Works Cited – Section 31) Generation Y-Pay refuses to pay for downloads, Carrie Ann Skinner, 7 September 2009,,4 October 20102) It’s All Free! Lev Grossman, 5 May 2003,,9171,1101030505-447204,00.html, 1October 2010.3) Matt Mason, The Pirates Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism (New York:Free Press, 2008) 174-176, 1424) John Thackara, In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World (MIT Press, 2006) 75) Peter Mason, The Rough Guide to Hip-Hop (Rough Guides, 2005) 332-3336) Piracy Fight Shuts Down Music Blogs , Ben Sisario, 13 December 2010,, 13 December 20107) The Walking Dead Currently The Most Pirated Series, Mitch Michaels , 12 December2010,, 13 December 20108) Special Report: Music Industry’s Lavish Lobby Campaign For Digital Rights, Bruce Gainfor Intellectual Property Watch, 16 January 2011, 20 January 20119) If Artists Don’t Value Copyright On Their Works, Why Do We Force It On Them? MikeMasnick, 8 February 2011,, 9 Febuary 201110) Can Free Content Boost Your Sales? Yes, It Can, Stan Shroeder, 22 January 2009,, 9 February 2011
  44. 44. 44“it is finished”