« The Capitalization of EDM Continues: Live Nation Acquires HARD Events | Main | Amanda Palmer To Distribute Fan-Funded Album Through Alliance Entertainment »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Labels are a service, streaming is a service I even see Distribution as a Service.....However; Music is not a service. #THATISALL

Chris "Seth" Jackson

Great perspective! I believe music is the entry point. What a band/songwriter sells is an "experience". Monetize the experience of what your overall message and music is about.

Alvaro Marin

Why can't it be both? I would like to OWN the music I love (ie buy a phyiscal product) and have access to a vast majority of the music I like. I think it's important to remember that we, as people, go through phases in life. In each of these phases we exhibit different kinds of behavior which, in consequence, leads us to listen to different kinds of music for each phase. I would like to own the music that I find myself coming back to whereas the rest is just part of the phase for that moment in time.

I don't like the idea of paying an inflated price for something I'll probably listen to once or twice. Moreover, I have no problem paying a substantial amount for something I know I'm going to love for the rest of my life. So why can't music be both? A service to help pass the time, find new music, learn about different musical periods and a product in order for us to own and treaure the music that we love.


How is it any different than a photographer? I'm a digital photographer and I don't have to pay sales tax because I'm considered a 'service' provider.

I'll still sell a print or 2 occasionally to old people that still like photo albums. The majority of the money I make now is via my 'service'. People pay a fee to have me come shoot their wedding, event, products, etc. They just want their photos online and buying a print is just a novelty item.

It's just in how you look at it. We are in a format change just like when we went from cassettes to CDs but this change is to something that comes through a data portal (ie: Flickr)



Music is not a service. I'm new to Hybot and now doubting it's legitimacy reading this idiot. Just plain dumb.


I totally agree with this article. Putting a price on music and copyrights are only legit when music is used for the commercial gain on someone other than the artist. Music was always supposed to be free and social from the listener's point of view. What you pay for is the "experience" i.e. cd, streaming, etc. And as of right now, Spotify is really the only thing that is satisfying consumers' expectations of TODAY.

The way money gets distributed back to the artist is an internal issue, so musicians and labels have to stop bashing people for switching to streaming simply because they don't make enough now as they did 20 yrs ago. Maybe when the amount of streaming subscribers surpasses people who buy individual tracks, will quantities of scale pay enough money to more fairly compensate artists. thoughts?


Music has changed definition for consumers.
Back in time, music was limited due to the costs of producing vinyl/cassette/CD by labels for consumers to buy.
Today music has grown in number of works but I doubt the quality has (working for a digital retailer I assure there is some rubbish out there!)
The reason music is now a service is that you cannot sell a music asset now (file) whereas with vinyl/cassetee/CD the consumer had an asset to resell when one's music taste change.

Artists may well have a different view.


Copyright in general is not 'recent'. The first copyrights on books were granted in the late 15th century, soon after the invention of printing. The first general copyright statute (for books) was enacted in England over 300 years ago. Copyright was explicitly allowed for in the Constitution of the United States, which is not 'recent'. Copyright specifically in written music goes back to the early 19th century, and in most countries copyright in music recordings goes back to the early 20th century, not long after sound recording was invented. You may have reasons for not liking copyright, or for thinking that it is on the way out, but don't pretend that it is just some ephemeral novelty, like the internet as we know it.


The two major types of commodities are goods and services. Both should be paid for. So calling music a service instead of a product doesn't solve the problem.

Secondly, performing may be considered a service, but songwriting produces a product. If a performer has to pay a songwriter, how does he or she make his or her money back on a free service?


The only thing though is that a performer is making money off of the songwriter, but the general consumer is not. I think that the article is arguing that people who use the songwriter's product for their own commercial gain (performers, labels, brands, etc) should pay for the material itself whereas consumers need only to pay for the service (streaming, concerts).


This is a great point, and we didn't have copyright in the US for a long time since we where so busy stealing from other countries to profit from it over here. To find out more about this go find Pat Choate's book ''Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization,''


This is nuts!
People these days don't appreciate the blood, the sweat, the angst, the divorces, the pain, THE TIME, ... that a great song writer goes through ( this is not to say that a brick layer, secretary, sales person etc. doesn't suffer).

A huge percentage of people say " Music is the most important think in my life". Well, if this is true, why would you not want to pay the artist fairly, that SOOOOO moves (d) you?
Why would a great artist even bother, if there is no hope of a reward for his or hers huge effort?
If creating a great song was easy, everyone would be doing it, especially with recording technology being so cheap.

This is a big part of the reason that main stream music is largely kaka (shieeet) these days.
Why would an artist that can create exquisite material do it, if there is no fair compensation?

Come on people give yourselves a logic shake.


P.S. People don't just walk into a painters studios and take masterpieces or cheaper prints do they? (yet)


Nor do they walk into a farmers field and just take what they want!


Take my wife ....... Please

Faza (TCM)

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor even American, but I cannot let that one slide.

As a matter of fact, the US had copyright from the very beginning of its existence (even prior to it, if we consider the time it was under British rule).

Here's a historical outline from someone more learned than me (be sure to read part 2 as well):


Faza (TCM)

This is a fascinating perspective, especially the part about "historical amnesia".

I do feel that it would work best if put in the appropriate context, however, so let's have a look at some things that have come after copyright (1710 in the UK, part of the US Constitution since it went into effect in 1789). I have placed them in chronological order:

  1. The First Amendment (part of the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791),

  2. The abolition of slavery in the US (the Thirteenth Amendment, adopted 1865),

  3. The securing of citizenship rights to African-Americans (the Fourteenth Amendment, adopted 1868),

  4. The securing of voting rights for African-American men (the Fifteenth Amendment, ratified 1870),

  5. Women's suffrage in the UK (1918, limited franchise),

  6. Women's suffrage in the US (the Nineteenth Amendment, 1920),

  7. Full enfranchisement of women voters on the same terms as men in the UK (1928),

  8. The incorporation of Labour Rights into the UN Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 23 and 24, 1948).

  9. By comparison, a landmark example of music viewed as property in the modern sense is Beethoven selling a number of compositions yet to be written to a publisher for an advance of five pounds (£410 in today's money, source: http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/a-brief-history-of-artists-control-of-their-product/).

    Should we chuck any of the above rights out, simply because they have only been recognised recently? Thought not. The fact that some people have a problem with them (I'm sure there are folks out there that would like to see racial segregation - nay, slavery! - reintroduced and women kept out of the political process and back in the kitchen, where they belong) isn't much of an argument either.

    On to the merit of the argument. Music can be seen as a service, but it can equally well be seen as a product. The semantic argument is even less fruitful here than in debating whether piracy is theft or not. I have no problem in viewing the buyer of my CD as purchasing the service of unlimited listening to those recordings for a lump sum (nor should you), but that says nothing about my ability to charge the price I see fit for that service and even less about my right to charge for it at all.

    The whole premise of the post, in other words, is pure unadulterated bullshit. There is no "entitlement" on the part of the artists or the industry, merely the demand that someone who wishes to obtain a music "product" or "service" (whatever suits your fancy) pay for it, just as they would for anything else.

    Once we've got that issue out of the way, we can subsequently discuss price and terms.

Dudley Saunders

Let's be clear: streaming or some variant is not just the future but fast becoming the present. The issue of renegotiating compensation rates is the only, and very legitimate question, because the reality is it is our music that brings listeners to the streamers -- just as it it is our ripped-off mp3s that bring people to the "free download" pages that profit from big corporate advertisers. When you see a Geico ad on the site that ripped off your music, you are watching the financial transaction you've been cut out of.

On the other hand, if I was getting a cut of their click-thru profit, we could talk. The point is never to stop the distribution of music, but not to be cut out of the income stream that is already there.

But again, I'm fairly surely streaming will destroy the free-download market, because who wants to glut up their cell phones/computers with gigabytes of music?

Until we get this all renegotiated, it's going to stay tough times out there.


I should have said that we didn't offer copy right protection to non us citizens for a long time since we where so busy stealing from other countries.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Musician & Music Industry Resources