Is The Sky Falling On The Record Industry?
Legal scholar Mark Lemley has published an insightful draft paper titled, "Is the Sky Falling on the Content Industries?" In it, he documents the history of content industries crying foul every time a new technology disrupts their current business model. His quote, as it turns out, juxtaposes rather nicely with one of Greg Kot's:
"The invention of the phonograph was going to discourage people fro m going out to see live music. The introduction of music radio was a surefire way of killing record sales. "Home taping is killing music" screamed the magazine ads when the cassette tape was introduced to the marketplace. Of course, each of those sky-is-falling alerts from the music industry over the last century was a false alarm. With each technological innovation, music became more accessible and more lucrative than ever."
"The content industry, it seems, has a Chicken Little problem. It may, in fact, be the case that the sky is falling. But, if you claim that the sky is falling whenever a new technology threatens an existing business model, the rest of the world can be forgiven for not believing you when you claim that this time around it's going to be different than all of the other times. Now, let's be clear, each one of these technologies changed the business model of the industry. They caused certain revenue streams to decline. But they also opened up new ones."