Back in 2006 my friend Claude Chastagner and I wrote a short piece on file sharing, which was a short version of an article which we wrote for the Revue Française d’études américaines. In this short version we equated the music market to the water one, mp3 and downloading being the equivalent of tap water (i.e. essentially free) and CDs being bottled water (i.e. what you’re buying is less the product itself – music – than added service – a long lasting medium, immune to viruses and other computer-related mishaps).
I’ve been browsing around Gerd Leonhard‘s previous writings (warning, the man’s a Net-junkie and has an account for every social site in existence), and I’m proud to see he had the same idea (though he developed it much more). His Water Like Music Manifesto is a must-read.
(edit: Gerd Leonhard came up with this back in 2005, Claude and me in 2006 – given I’ve been maintaining a close watch on the subject, I think it’s safe to say I came across it somehow 🙂 )
On another note, this quote from Feargal Sharkey, who attended the debate “The Big issue – how can music and ISP work together” at the MIDEM seems to show that there’s still work to do : “It seems we are surrounded by an ever-growing chorus of pseudo-intellectual cyber professors who will have us believe that their vision of reality is nothing short of the high altar of intellectual thinking. And to challenge those viewpoints and assumptions is nothing short of heresy and treason.”
Then again I can see how hard it is for non-tech people to understand that their business has suddenly turned into a computer engineering problem.