The Perils of Online Song Lyrics
(watch the video in the center of the page for the essence)

Whenever I speak at a conference, I analogize the online music sphere to the wild west.  Robbers have removed all the assets from the local bank and have ridden off into the sunset.  What to do?

Well, first you form a posse.  (Marky Mark and Snoop have a leg up here, as do so many of today’s artists, they ALREADY have a posse.)  And, after collecting your group of like-minded citizens, what do you do?  Do you get a really large megaphone and yell to the criminals COME BACK?

Of course not.  You’ve seen a million westerns.  There’s always someone in the group who says they should CUT THEM OFF AT THE PASS!

A simple concept.  One those in the entertainment industries would be wise to apply if they weren’t so damn worried about having their assets STOLEN!  But, as you can see in the example above, the money’s ALREADY GONE!  Lamenting its loss does you no good, what are you going to do in this CRISIS!

You’ve got to think quickly.  With every minute that goes by, the gang is further away, harder to find in the vast landscape.

The music business has had eight years to deal with P2P.  And what solutions have they come up with?

Well, just look at their bottom lines.  If they had any good ideas, they’ve yet to employ them.

But now we’re talking about music publishers.  We’ve got to keep lyrics LOCKED UP, so people don’t steal them.  Instead of facing reality and realizing lyrics are already FREE!  This is akin to having the posse protect the bank AFTER it’s been robbed!

You can get lyrics for seemingly every song on the Web.  But, are they accurate?  Do they come with spyware?

Yahoo has come up with a solution.  We’ll offer legitimate lyrics, sans spyware, and we’ll share advertising revenue!

Reasonable, wouldn’t you think?  But, not every publisher has signed up.  But what’s worse, you can’t COPY THE LYRICS!

This is a big crisis.  People stealing lyrics.  We’ve got to STOP THIS!

Only fans are searching for lyrics, as Jason Fry points out in his article.  You want to keep fans HAPPY!  Give them MORE, not LESS!

This is no solution at all.  This just hurts Yahoo’s efforts to help the publishers.  How many times will surfers go back to Yahoo to find lyrics once they find they can’t copy them?

I search for lyrics all the time, and copy them too.  I listen to the song before I print them, checking for inaccuracies, which are prevalent.  But to type from scratch, that’s a huge PAIN IN THE ASS!

Or do we need lyric licenses?  Or do you want to sell them to me at iTunes?  God, can’t advertising work in ANY sphere?

Bottom line, if your business is threatened by the Net, give your customers MORE than they presently want NOW!


iDA-X001 Digital Media Receiver

I won’t buy anything else.

Oh, I used Blaupunkts in the seventies, but after a bad experience with Concord, and a less than perfect Kenwood, I’ll only buy Alpine head units.  I’ve had a zillion of them.  Got one in my car right now, a top of the line unit with Slide Glide, a hard to use search technology that they’ve now phased out.  Still, my Alpine provides everything the publishers DON’T!  Graphic AND parametric EQ.  Downloadable time delay…  It would flummox an engineer.

But even though I’m not constantly tweaking it, I’m happy.

But I’d be happier with this brand new unit.  Which forgoes the CD COMPLETELY!

Yup, I’ve had my unit for almost two years.  I can count the number of times I’ve played CDs on it on…ONE HAND!  Why do I need CD capability?

I don’t.

But a readout just like the one on my iPod…  That would be GREAT!  Furthermore, it even plays USB THUMB DRIVES!  Yup, don’t send me a disc anymore, but a DRIVE!

Isn’t it funny how every asshole wants to send me a CD I’ll never listen to so THEY can feel good, that their career is on track when it’s really nowhere, when I, and almost everybody else who LISTENS to music, am done with round plastic and only want the FILE!

CD sales are not going to resuscitate.  They’re going to drop even further, soon.  The majors are not prepared for this.

I’m down with Fifield’s plan for EMI.  Sell off the publishing and give up on new artists.  It’s the only one that makes sense.  Until the labels (AND PUBLISHERS) wake up to the new reality, that everybody in the future will own more music, AND EVERYBODY PURVEYING TUNES WILL MAKE MORE MONEY!  But you’ve got to sell buckets of unprotected tunes at a low price.  Until this happens, the labels are fucked, they’re gonna remain in a death spiral.

iPod jacks entered cars YEARS ago (first seen in the Honda Element).  And now the car stereo manufacturer of record DROPS the CD…  How much more evidence does the industry NEED?


Steal This Disc
(via Les Garland)

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  1. Pingback by Links of the week « Jonathan Deamer | 2007/06/02 at 13:04:01

    […] what are bleurghs, blooks and clogblogs?  Funny names for niche blogs, that’s what. Lefsetz Letter: Yahoo lyrics – are licences for providing song lyrics online […]

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  1. Pingback by Links of the week « Jonathan Deamer | 2007/06/02 at 13:04:01

    […] what are bleurghs, blooks and clogblogs?  Funny names for niche blogs, that’s what. Lefsetz Letter: Yahoo lyrics – are licences for providing song lyrics online […]

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