[LINK] EMI: Free streaming music for China

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Jan 17 13:49:37 AEDT 2007

[Comments at end]


EMI: Free streaming music for China
1/16/2007 12:38:53 PM, by Nate Anderson

It's tough to do business in China when you're a music label. With
piracy rates estimated at around 90 percent, cash can be hard to come by
even if you have a popular product. In a new initiative designed to make
legal music as compelling as the pirated variety, EMI has partnered with
Baidu to offer free streaming of its Typhoon Music joint venture.

Baidu is the largest search engine in China, which makes it a go-to
destination for music searches. In fact, it was so successful that it
got sued by the major music labels last year (along with Yahoo! China).
They argued that Baidu was liable for providing links to copyrighted
material, while the search engine claimed that it could not be held
responsible for determining the legality of every link in its index.

Baidu has been doing well in court, which may have led EMI to craft a
deal rather than risk continued litigation. The new service will stream
the complete Typhoon Music catalog for free to Baidu users, who will "be
exposed to Internet advertising," according to a statement. If the
service works well, the two companies have future plans to develop
advertising-supported downloads as well.

EMI has realized that it needs to compete with piracy as a business
model, not simply to sue the problem out of existence (an impossibility
in China, anyway). When the vast majority of your intellectual property
is being ripped off, there's not much to lose by experimenting with new
distribution methods. If the trial goes well, we expect other labels to
announce similar partnerships. It's not their preferred method of
distribution, but some yuan are better than no yuan.

[Golly, it's true.  China may be starting to lead the world ...

[We've tried for years to get the music industry to grasp what's 
going on, experiment with P2P in order to find appropriate 
techniques, and price sensibly.  They're *finally* getting that 
message (witness the recent Kazaa deal, and the ongoing BitTorrent 

[But now, in parallel with that, it seems that they're experimenting 
with 'pay with your attention instead of your money' approaches!]

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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