Why Spotify is being denied in the US: A matter of pride?

30 Oct

Kyle, from Hypebot, wrote a great piece suggesting that the state of the music industry is not simply a result of illegal file sharing, but also the actions taken on behalf of the labels. In the article he goes on to speak about how we all like to point the finger at piracy for “crippling” the music business, not letting the industry develop and flourish like it would in an ideal world. True, but maybe we should also take a look at the greedy labels too? I want to expand on his thoughts:

P2P and illegal file-sharing has been kicking the industry’s you-know-what for a long time now. They have tried everything to try stopping the ache, but there has always been one main reason why these illegal file-sharing sites still get away with it – THE SONY BETAMAX CASE

Let me try and break it down. BETAMAX (VHS’ forgotten brother-in-law) came to US shores and hollywood panicked. The thought that their million-dollar blockbusters could be duplicated so easily was a huge threat! Soon a law suit followed led by Universal Studios. They pleaded to the courts that this would ruin the movie business as people will stop buying movies, shifting to duplicating movies with the record feature the Japanese company included. After a long battle the courts favoured Sony and technology.

Despite illegal aspects to the technology as long as there are legitimate uses for the technology then it is wrong to not allow the public to benefit. This case will always be brought up during a battle between illegal services and the people who try to oppose. As long as there are legitimate uses – for example, Pirate Bay does allows users to share legal documents (though prob 1% of its entire traffic) – it is unfair to be shut down. This was amended so if a service knowingly knew that it was harboring illegal content and subsequently profiting from it then it is breaking the law. This was Napster’s downfall as all data went through a central server which could be monitored. Torrents’ data does not.

So using these arguments we are to assume that great technology should not be suffocated and withheld from us? So why is it so hard for Spotify to come to American soil? They are offering an experience that is sure to benefit the public and ultimately steer people away from illegal file sharing. They are being forced to hand out huge cash advances. I’m pretty sure Grooveshark didn’t go through so many hoops.

It is incredibly hypocritical for the majors to take such a hard stance on great products such as Spotify. There is no illegal aspect to it and as I, as well as many others, state, streaming is the new black.

This is a simple case of being stubborn. The industry has faltered on so many occasions because they have been unable to work collectively to envision where music is going. Unfortunate for them entrepreneurial minds have. This happened when Apple’s iTunes entered the playing field. Imagine if the profits from the world’s largest music store went back in to the industry and not Steve Job’s back pocket? What a difference that would make! The same thing is happening again. One more kick in the sack. One more dent in what little pride they have.


One Response to “Why Spotify is being denied in the US: A matter of pride?”


  1. What Shea hopes for 2011′s music industry « Guerrilla and Chalk - December 30, 2010

    […] from our mistakes. If it is going to happen, it will happen. Spotify has seen the same fate with a failed plan to launch its music service state side before Christmas. The Majors don’t like change, but it is better to work with […]

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