COPYRIGHT
Record labels

Successful indie popsters The Crimea have decided that they will give away download copies of their second album, Secrets of the Witching Hour. The band, who were previously signed to Warners and sold a respectable 35,000 copies of their first album Tragedy Rocks and charted with a UK top 40 single, have decided that they will not bother to fight music piracy, peer to peer file swapping or worry about DRM protection, gambling on the fact that building a big fan base through giving away recorded music will mean the band will earn more long term from live work, merchandising, music publishing and possibly endorsements. The move will be keenly watched by the recording industry as it struggles to find ways of monetising copyrights in sound recordings. It is interesting to note that on the same day this story came out, the PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) had sent British MP’s a free CD to lobby for extended copyright term for sound recordings – a campaign which has so far fallen on deaf ears. But surely the ‘Extend The Term’ campaign is as tired as it sounds. Recently Andrew Gowers made it clear that he felt that a fifty year term for sound recordings was more than sufficient. Realistically as this website has urged, the record industry has to come to terms with the realities of life in the digital age and the Crimea seem to be bravely (or perhaps just sensibly) facing up to the reality of the internet, peer-2-peer file swapping, free download sites – and a generation of fans used to getting recorded music for free. If the band succeed then this may well form a interesting new business model for the music business, and it will be fascinating to see how the majors and leading indies react to this initiative. Source: The Guardian, 30 April 2007