[…]Lowery’s concerns are mostly shared by Casey Rae, co-director of the Future of Music Coalition. But their preferred solutions are pretty different.
For Lowery, the solution is advocating and creating the environment for an ethical Internet. For Rae and the rest of the FMC, it’s more about creating much easier access to music - so easy, in fact, that the desire to use illegal file sharing will be greatly reduced.”We believe artists should be paid for their work,” Rae explained, and that’s the environment his organization is trying to set up.
It’s not particularly easy. The major record labels in the US are still living in the past and their licensing process reflects that. Negotiating digital sales or streaming rights for a music catalog can take up to two years, and labels often want their cash up front.
The problem is so acute, Rae added, that when Spotify finally came to the U.S., the Swedish company had to give up some of its own equity to the three major record labels to get them onboard. “The music and motion picture industry are still working under a scarcity model,” Rae lamented. “Unfortunately the Internet doesn’t recognize scarcity.”
And Rae does not care for the RIAA’s tactics of litigation and legislation. “We need to wallpaper the Internet with available content.”
That available content will probably be streaming content, if Rae’s predictions hold. Even the “traditional” paid download services lie Amazon, Apple and Google are shifting to the cloud model, where local downloads become the backup for the user’s music collection in the cloud.
If licensing music can become a more streamlined process, Rae envisions a world where illegal downloads will be pointless, since songs can be easily found and played on demand. Artists and their labels will receive equitable payment, and the wave of illegal piracy should start to subside.