Microsoft/Facebook

And where was the concomitant record industry investment in Napster? Oh yeah, that’s right, Thomas Middelhoff, head of Bertelsmann, invested in the service, saw it as the industry’s future, and his record company brethren SUED HIM FOR AIDING AND ABETTING COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!

Where is the investment in Limewire? Where is the investment in anywhere the public HAS SHOWN AN INTEREST IN GOING!

Stop living in the field of dreams, believing if you build it they will come, didn’t work with PressPlay. Turns out the record industry’s got no clue what people want. Just like Microsoft doesn’t understand social networking. So they went where the FOOD WAS! Remember that old Sam Kinison routine? You shouldn’t send FOOD to Africans, but SUITCASES! So they can go where the food is!

I’m all for sending suitcases to the major labels. Loading them up with printouts from the Web. URLs they should check out. So they can move into the future. Because, like Africa, their old territory is dried out. It’s not going to rain in the physical disc domain ever again. Conditions are going to get worse. Rather than trying to fix the old system, EMBRACE THE NEW!

Microsoft followed Netscape into Web-browsing. AOL into Net portals. Hell, they even ripped off Apple (with a tiny little license) and embraced the GUI. Give the Redmond outfit credit. If they can’t invent anything there, at least they’ve got the ability to copy and steal.

Why can’t the record companies copy and steal file-trading? Better yet, as the windows close, as Microsoft realizes building its own social networking site is futile, why can’t the labels LICENSE THEIR MUSIC TO PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT!

Oh, they can’t get over Apple screwing them. How? Eliminate the DRM and the iTunes Store has to compete with everybody else. Like Amazon.

Better yet, change the business model, authorize file-trading, and let Apple try to play CATCH-UP!

Microsoft is scared. It doesn’t want to be left behind. So frightened that its employees are constantly assessing the landscape, seeing where they can use their cash position to make a move, to insure their future dominance.

It may not be in productivity suites. Turns out word processing can be done online, FOR FREE! Microsoft is not suing Google for stealing their idea, they’re trying to OUTMANEUVER GOOGLE!

Microsoft, worth a hell of a lot more than the labels, does not have a guaranteed future. Why can’t the labels import some of this same thinking, that if you’re stagnant, if you try to protect the past, you’re doomed not only to mediocrity, but EXTINCTION!

And I don’t give a shit if the labels go under. But their refusal to license new business models is making EVERYBODY’S music free. It’s helping to keep music from the fans, if for no other reason than too many are scared to trade, even though they aren’t buying CDs.

I’m not sure if Facebook is the last stop, I’m not sure people want to be networked to the degree Mark Zuckerberg thinks they do. But the Net train has left the station, there’s constant evolution, and the record labels haven’t even packed their bags. You wonder why they’re so far behind?

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.

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