Rock Biz

The Heavenly Jukebox Revisited

Remember the days when you could buy pet food on the Internet, or watch a short movie for free online, or be inundated by a bunch of “dot com” commercials from companies you never heard of run by computer obsessed geeks barely out of university with no business knowledge but loads of stock options? That’s right I’m talking about Y2K when all things Internet related seemed so …..hyper. Well Coolfer has given me the heads up on an excellent article from the Atlantic Monthly written during that momentous year on the MP3 “phenomena.” Titled “The Heavenly Jukebox” this piece is most definitely the best introduction to the issues of technology, music and copyright that I have read and it is still relevant today. What should happen and what can happen are still evolving but as this article points out “Allowing the travails of a single industry — no matter how legitimate its concerns — to decide the architecture of that arena would be a folly that could take a long time to undo.” This to me is still the fundamental point. Allowing the recording industry to determine how technology evolves will erode the Internet to the point where not only will it be useless to the average music fan, it will also be useless as a legitimate forum for self expression and the dissemination of ideas. And that would be not only a sad thing but a potentially disastrous thing for all of us. Thanks Coolfer. Check out his site right now. Good stuff from someone who cares. And check out that pledge! We all thank you for that.