Posted here are two pieces: the first, an excerpt from today's Op-Ed by NYTimes columnist Paul Krugman, offers a view of the future of technology with (uncharacteristic) optimism; the other is a press release about several major record labels currently suing Spain's own P2P pioneer, Pablo Soto. An interesting juxtaposition. The money quote is about litigation not being a particularly "valid business model".
Bits, Bands and Books
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: June 6, 2008
Do you remember what it was like back in the old days when we had a New Economy? In the 1990s, jobs were abundant, oil was cheap and information technology was about to change everything.
Then the technology bubble popped. Many highly touted New Economy companies, it turned out, were better at promoting their images than at making money -- although some of them did pioneer new forms of accounting fraud. After that came the oil shock and the food shock, grim reminders that we’re still living in a material world.
So much, then, for the digital revolution? Not so fast. The predictions of '90s technology gurus are coming true more slowly than enthusiasts expected -- but the future they envisioned is still on the march.
In 1994, one of those gurus, Esther Dyson, made a striking prediction: that the ease with which digital content can be copied and disseminated would eventually force businesses to sell the results of creative activity cheaply, or even give it away. Whatever the product -- software, books, music, movies -- the cost of creation would have to be recouped indirectly: businesses would have to "distribute intellectual property free in order to sell services and relationships."
For example, she described how some software companies gave their product away but earned fees for installation and servicing. But her most compelling illustration of how you can make money by giving stuff away was that of the Grateful Dead, who encouraged people to tape live performances because "enough of the people who copy and listen to Grateful Dead tapes end up paying for hats, T-shirts and performance tickets. In the new era, the ancillary market is the market."
Indeed, it turns out that the Dead were business pioneers. Rolling Stone recently published an article titled "Rock's New Economy: Making Money When CDs Don't Sell." Downloads are steadily undermining record sales -- but today's rock bands, the magazine reports, are finding other sources of income. Even if record sales are modest, bands can convert airplay and YouTube views into financial success indirectly, making money through "publishing, touring, merchandising and licensing."
What other creative activities will become mainly ways to promote side businesses? How about writing books?
via PRWeb, June 5, 2008:
Major Record Labels Sue Spanish P2P Pioneer Pablo Soto, MP2P Technologies, Suit Seeks $20mm USD
Lawsuit, Believed to be Unprecedented, Claims "Unfair Competition"
Madrid, Spain (PRWEB) June 5, 2008 -- MP2P Technologies (http://www.mp2p.net/) announced today that it has been served with a lawsuit from what remains of the four major record labels. The lawsuit, WARNER MUSIC SPAIN S.A., UNIVERSAL MUSIC SPAIN, S.A., EMI MUSIC SPAIN, S.A., SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, S.A., PRODUCTORES DE MUSICA EN ESPANA (PROMUSICAE) v. PABLO SOTO BRAVO, OPTISOFT, S.L., PIOLET NETWORKS, S.L., MP2P TECHNOLOGIES, S.A. (filed in Madrid Court for Commercial Matters # 2807910001898), seeks $20mm in alleged damages from the technology upstart.
"We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against this shake down attempt by the major label cabal," said Pablo Soto, founder and CEO of MP2P Technologies. "Rather than embracing technology, they have chosen a path that will ultimately lead to their own demise, as evidenced by the labels consistent decline over the past decade. Litigation is in itself not a valid business model for them, however, it has been a dogged and futile pursuit of theirs since the advent of P2P."
"PROMUSICAE (Spanish branch of the IFPI; international arm of the RIAA) tried to proceed with civil suits against users of P2P networks in Spain and, after being halted by the Court of Justice of the EU, it has now decided to go against a neutral communication tool such as P2P technology," added Soto.
Pablo Soto is considered one of the pioneers of P2P, together with other distinguished luminaries such as Justin Frankel (Gnutella) and Shawn Fanning (Napster). He is a frequent panelist at national and international forums and serves from time to time as a visiting professor at the University of Valencia and the University of the Basque Country. His progressive accomplishments in technology have garnered worldwide press recognition, including CNN, The New York Times, Reuters, AP, USA Today, C/Net, Rolling Stone, CBS News, San Jose Mercury News, among many others.
About MP2P Technologies
MP2P Technologies' software offerings have been downloaded millions of times by scores of people from around the globe. Founded by renowned technology developer Pablo Soto in 2000, MP2P Technologies today remains a leader in the P2P sector and consumer technology. MP2P Technologies is headquartered in Madrid, Spain. For more information, visit http://www.mp2p.net.
For more info, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Music_Economy