Sunday, January 26, 2003

Maria Callas

My good friend CD wrote in asking:
There was an article in the NYTimes recently on Maria Callas copyrights expiring in Europe that had me wondering - any chance that as music filesharing becomes more and more widespread, and people start looking for free files, that more people will listen to older copyright-free (in Europe anyway) music? Sure you can go online and find tons of free music from new bands looking for exposure, and sample mp3s from groups plugging their albums, but if there's an 'ornithologist' in France that has everything Bird ever recorded available for free on his server, with a guide to what's the best stuff, and no one can shut him down, do people flock to it? Probably not, but curious as to what your thoughts are on this area over the next few years.
Right now, on P2P networks, copyright is not enforced and therefore, de facto, does not exist. Ironically, therefore, Charlie Parker does not benefit from entering the public domain in Europe because he's already in essence under public domain in the US, along with Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the Back Street Boys. "Open" music does not benefit from its "openness" until "closed" music is somehow meaningfully closed.

The success of DRM technologies will be a tremendous boost to copyleft and public domain music, so long as DRM allows a public domain to exist.


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