17 May 2012

Gerd Leonhard wants to "reset the music business"

Wired Uk wrote the other day: "Leonhard isn't a fan of how the record industry has been run over the last decade or so. "The whole economy of music is based on big companies owning the rights. It's unsustainable," he said, comparing the major record labels to big oil companies.

"Do big oil companies represent nature?" he asked. "Of course not. Do the big record labels represent music? Probably not." Leonhard sketched out the reasons why people pirate music, blaming high costs and a lack of legal alternatives, and he also argued that cracking down on filesharing doesn't benefit artists. "We had 52,000 people sued in Europe over copyright infringement," he said. "That earned nothing for the artists. Only the lawyers."

But Leonhard is optimistic, arguing that music is simply migrating into something larger. "The business model of merely selling 'copies' of music is over," he said. "Let's redefine the meaning of selling. No-one knows what it means." Leonhard is a firm believer in the power of access models over ownership ones. Models where you pay a small recurring subscription fee to gain...read on."