Forum delves into murky waters of rights in the digital age

Linux music mixer Paul Wayper weighs in on the debate.

While Creative Commons licenses work to foster innovation and sharing or resources, traditional media companies and agencies and technologies such as DRM work against these freedoms, according to Wayper.

"I have no idea how many people have gone out and bought records based on listening to one of my mixes, but I've bought many albums on the strength of hearing a track on the radio. The fact that APRA, for instance charge the radio stations is, to me, double-dipping."

"To me, the nastiness of the industry is highlighted by how shadowy it is. Even APRA doesn't disclose how much money it makes, who it gives this to, how it decides who gets it, and how much its executives get paid for the pleasure of extorting money from people. Even pubs that have traditionally only had singer-songwriters performing their own songs have been forced - by law - to pay up, and often the artist gets nothing."

Wayper said that with the traditional model the 'rights-holders' were generally not the artists, but the big media companies.

"It is completely and utterly ridiculous to me that an artist can be forced to give away all their rights to a work in order for it to be distributed by a company that makes ten times the amount of money that the artist ever sees."

He said that Digital Rights Management is just one way for those big companies to protect their revenue.

"I think people are also reasonably fair - sure, we might take a song if it was free, but most people don't immediately start copying their entire CD catalogue and giving copies to all their friends. So treating the entire population as if they're evil-minded bastards is a really stupid way to do business," he said.

The CCau Music Industry Forum will be held on November 28, as part of Apple University Consortium's Create World 2007 conference.

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