Yet More On Fileswapping

Fileswapping is in the New York Times today. The RIAA gears up for more lawsuits while some bands try to actually serve their fans and make a buck. Wow!

Seems my speculation that the RIAA would continue to persue the lawsuit path despite their reversal on the subpeona issue in December was right. OTOH, encouraging is this from the .NYTimes.

(subscription required) Phish, and a few lesser known bands, are selling downloads of their concerts directly from their websites.

This is exactly the kind of innovative use of fileswapping that I keep hoping to see. Concerts are a classic case where you can potentially sell the same song over and over again because to true afficianados, live concerts are both different from a studio CD and different from each other. So fans get what they want and the band uses technology to cut out the annoying middleman. Sure, as Phish acknowledge, they get some folks swapping without paying, but they treat it as loss leader. And, according to the article, Phish are making a nice revenue stream.

stay tuned . . .


  1. As Janis Ian has said (, file swapping has actually increased her sales. Her singing/songwriting career has generated some rather eloquent and poignant essays, which you can find on her website. I consider it recommended reading to anyone interested in this incendiary topic.


    P.S. Hi-ho, Harold.

  2. [Aside: <a href=”… is a very useful item that takes a New York Times link and makes it not only no-sub-required, but nonexpiring. I <b>think</b> it’s linking the RSS feed. The link it provides for the story you use is <a href=”… (If I were really efficient, I’d use or the equivalent, but you know…?]

    Concerts are, almost by definition, all different one from another. And it seems to me that many of the bands who have encouraged or at least tolerated taping were the ones who did shows that differed the most from each other and from the studio.

    Concerts more resemble movies than other music in one respect, in that both concerts and movies are best experienced as larger coherent units, whereas much studio music can be mixed and matched, playlist-style. In my opinion, this can make a serious difference in strategy between the RIAA and the MPAA, and may lead to more aggressive development of lawful download channels for movies. The fact that payments can be justified as larger may help, too, by not requiring less-profitable micropayment systems to be used.

    That said, <a href=”… is a story, also in the NYTimes (today) about the upcoming turf wars for music downloading in Europe. Also see <a href=”… story</a> about Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno establishing a musicians’ union specifically intended to improve the artist’s position vis-a-vis the revenues from their downloaded works.

    More later, after I recover from my work week…

  3. Nuts. here are the links, via as necessary:

    NYTimes Blogspace Generator:

    Harold’s cite:

    NYTimes on fileswapping in Europe:

    BBC on Gabriel and Eno:

    Got to remember, no HTML here. (Maybe you could have a small reminder precede the comment field: “Your comment (no HTML tags permitted):”?)

  4. Hello Bruce,

    I’m John and this is my site, and I still don’t know how to get HTML without using HTML. Hmmm, better look into this. Thanks for taking the care to clean up your links, which is more than I’ve done in some of my own comments. . ..

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