Friday, January 25, 2008

blame the artist, part 3 -- the evil that is Celine

Technology columnist Mathew Ingram over at the Globe takes an increasingly familiar "fair and balanced" approach to the copyright question on his Globe-sponsored blog, Ingram 2.0.

Yesterday's release of some new stats by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry suggesting worldwide sales of CDs are markedly down and that climbing digital music sales are certainly not making up the industry shortfall is an occasion for derision of the usual suspects -- dumb, retrograde, bullying record companies, and of course, the artists themselves.

Ingram's fact-based attack focuses on the important stuff, such as the IFPI's name, which he believes "harkens back to the earliest days of recorded sound, when discs played at 78rpm and weighed about a pound each." He then takes a swipe at the recent CCC position paper, occasionally worried (and unfortunately honest) rockstar Trent Reznor, and the Songwriters Association, claiming, I gather, that any call for increased ISP responsibility for what goes on through their tubes is akin to making ISPs the copyright police. By that logic, making big industry responsible for what comes out of their chimneys turns them into the environment police.

"So what is the IFPI's response," Ingram asks, and then answers "-- to call on the music industry to become more competitive, or to experiment with different business models? Hardly."

I see Ingram's point here. Actually discussing experimentation and competitiveness just confuses the issue. From the hilariously-named IFPI's own release about their report:

"The report outlines the prospects and challenges for digital music as record companies move from a single format world to one of hundreds of formats and digital products. It shows experimentation with new revenue streams, including advertising-supported models and partnership with social networks. It also outlines the work record companies are doing in artist development and marketing of talent in the digital environment."

And in case we didn't understand Ingram's opinion from his reporting, he then points us in the direction of the comment stream following the Globe's report on the IFPI release, which is full of wonderful logic such as:

"As almost every statistic ever quoted by the recording and movie industry associations has effectively been pulled out of their nether parts (and has shown to be wrong), I'll guess that these numbers are wrong as well..." - unabashed opinion

"i don't think Celine Dijon is sleeping on the street and live on white bread.. maybe singers should make money by actually singing live shows at restaurants as opposed to sitting in their mansions, collecting royalties..." -- brokeback mountain

"Sales are down because: 1. Most top-40 music is useless with the sappy Celine Dion & rap that rhymes with crap as prime examples." -- THX 1138

So, apparently, this is all Celine Dion's fault. Surprised? I'm not. I've always been suspicious of that woman.


SirLiveAlot said...

Heh, "fact-based attack". You make that sound bad. I don't know about you but I always welcome fact based discussions. There will be fun times on your blog when the copyright bill comes out.

Increased ISP responsibility as you call it is kind of like making phone companies have "Increase responsibility" when it comes to terrorists using their phones. It sounds good in theory but in reality it hurts everyones personal privacy.

Feel free to look up the current United States N.S.A. wiretap scandal to solidify my point.

While your at it look at the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's letter she sent about the Copyright Act and her concerns about privacy.

Russell McOrmond said...


I've issued yet another one of my warnings to professional writers about the harm of giving intermediaries more control over their customers.

The needs of professional writers, and why their current proposals will backfire

I hope you will respond. Your analogy to chimneys is entirely off the mark as the two situations have absolutely nothing in common.