After two posts about the c-cassettes and the cd's, its time for the mp3 to step into the limelight. The music industries equation of this technology is probably music + mp3 = piracy, but is it really like that? Well, that's is what we will try to look into.
First of all, I think that one of the reasons why the music industry always is so negative to new technology (as the c-cassettes in the past) is that they don't want to let go of their cash cow. In fact they will fight any change with whatever means possible. In Norway they made a propaganda video/campaign to tell how bad file sharing was (watch it in the end of the post).
Probably the most extravagant attempt to ban the mp3 came in 1998. When RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) filed an application for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the sale of the Rio portable mp3 player produced by Diamond Multimedia. Luckily the judge handling the application denied it, or we would probably not have had any portable mp3 players today.
RIAA is especially good to use the copyright infringement card, as they did against Napster. I do agree that they have a point and a case, but when they sue LimeWire for $75 trillion (the whole worlds GDP is around $60 trillion) they have gone overboard and make the patent trolling to Apple look like Sunday school behaviour.
Update: LimeWire and the RIAA have now settled for barely $105 million, that's quite far away from the $75 trillion they were after...
So what could the music industry have done to prevent that the mp3 "killed" the cash cow? Well, they could have tried to stop their artist participating in stupid music videos (like the one under). Most important though is that they should have tried to adapt to new technologies faster, but that we will look into in the last instalment of this series...
kim dotcom "megaupload song"