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P2P to the Rescue of DRM!!

Posted: January 18th, 2011   |   Category: Blog | Industry News | Open

Resistance is Futile …

I came across this article in Rolling Stone today that talked about how music industry executives are in a panic about the future of their industry.

No, it’s not because people using Peer-2-peer file sharing programs like SoulSeek are sucking the life out of their bottom lines.

It’s because they converted everything to an unsustainable format.  Ironically, it’s digital.

Are Digital Formats Unstable?

It turns out that digital storage formats are very unstable.  Too unstable for the music industry to rely on to preserve precious copies of classic albums like the Cult’s 1985 album Love (let’s not have an argument about the ‘quality’ of music, OK?) because master recordings (all in digital) were all unplayable.
As noted in the article, re-releases and modified versions of albums like ‘Exile on Main Street’ and ‘Double Fantasy’ were possible because all of the original analog multitrack masters were intact.
This situation has provoked the US Library of Congress to declare that digital formats are “not inherently safe harbors of preservation.”
Another issue is compatibility.  Many songs recorded from the 1990s were done so on platforms that have either been upgraded or are now obsolete.  That leaves a lot of musicians and industry execs in a spin as they try to re-create (and possibly regurgitate) old content.

Future-Proofing The Industry

A lot of people in media industries plan to improve technology in order to ‘future proof’ their industries.

I have a different suggestion:  remove all DRM (Digital Rights Management) issues and endorse/validate P2P file-sharing networks as the most ideal way to ensure that all music, movies and other media are preserved in the Internet ‘cloud’.  The millions of computers across the planet that store everything from A Flock of Seagulls to Bruce Springsteen to Weird Al Yankovic will act as archival systems for the entire industry.

This would cut back drastically on the cost of trying to store and preserve everything in one place because it would be stored and preserved everywhere.

More importantly, it would end the insane bitching and whining that the media industry hurls at citizens every day.

Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that this will happen.  As we speak, people like Michael Geist are trying to get the public to speak out on copyright reform and I encourage you to do the same.

Here are some relinks from Geist’s site just in case you need them:

Author’s note:  I concede that this article has next to nothing to do with ‘getting found online’ (my usual theme), but I used to be involved with an online dot-com that aspired to cure the industry woes related to P2P networks (and validate them in the same stroke) and I felt to comment on the irony of the situation and to also encourage everyone to post their feedback to the CRTC about copyright issues.

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