In his blog post Can we kill the music business too? James from songspin.fm has the magic formula to kill the major labels. He says:
In a nutshell, to kill the major label run music industry, startups will need to:
- find great music from people who aren’t assholes
- let people do cool things with that music
- let users share what they create
(Note that in that last quote, the first ‘sue’ link points to Grooveshark)
We are assigned a predetermined amount of weekly uploads to the system and get a small extra bonus if we manage to go above that (not easy).The assignments are assumed as direct orders from the top to the bottom, we don’t just volunteer to “enhance” the Grooveshark database.
All search results are monitored and when something is tagged as “not available”, it get’s queued up to our lists for upload. You have to visualize the database in two general sections: “known” stuff and “undiscovered/indie/underground”. The “known” stuff is taken care internally by uploads. Only for the “undiscovered” stuff are the users involved as explained in some posts above. Practically speaking, there is not much need for users to upload a major label album since we already take care of this on a daily basis.
Are the above legal, or ethical? Of course not. Don’t reply to give me a lecture. I know. But if the labels and their lawyers can’t figure out how to stop it, then I don’t feel bad for having a job. It’s tough times.
Why am I disclosing all this? Well, I have been here a while and I don’t like the attitude that the administration has acquired against the artists. They are the enemy. They are the threat. The things that are said internally about them would make you very very angry. Interns are promised getting a foot in the music industry, only to hear these people cursing and bad mouthing the whole industry all day long, to the point where you wonder what would happen if Grooveshark get’s hacked by Anonymous one day and all the emails leak on some torrent or something.
James may be right – that a big part of the future of music is letting developers do cool things with music, but holding up Grooveshark as an example of a music startup is a mistake. What Grooveshark is doing isn’t cool. It isn’t something that developers should emulate. James called those that sue Grooveshark assholes, but from my vantage point he got it exactly ass-backwards.