The Sound of Music

Not so long ago, I commented on the future of music distribution via virtual worlds like Second Life®. It is still my belief that we’re assisting at the end of an age where music distribution via records/tapes/CDs and earning an income from royalties is coming to an end. While “free information activists” have long since predicted the downfall of the RIAA and the end of “music piracy” as a crime, they usually just address one side of the issue: consumers, who currently have sidestepped the distribution model by essentially exchanging music for free. Initiatives like Apple’s iTunes tend to combine both models: easy music distribution for a very low price and making sure that the musician gets a cut from the profit.

But these models completely forget one major player in the music industry: the musicians and performers themselves.

How, indeed, shall they survive, if their music is freely copied?
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