Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 12:17 PM

What if the RIAA had embraced Napster?

Back in 2000 when Napster was raging, I kept writing blog posts asking this basic question. Isn't there some way the music industry can make billions of dollars off the new excitement in music?

Turns out there was. Ask all the streaming music services that have been born since the huge war that the music industry had with the Internet. Was it necessary? Would they have done better if they had embraced the inevitable change instead of trying to hold it back? The answer is always, yes, it seems.

Well, now it seems Sony is doing it again, on behalf of the movie industry. Going to war with the Internet. Only now in 2014, the Internet is no longer a novel plaything, it's the underpinning of our civilization, and that includes the entertainment industry. But all they see is the evil side of the net. They don't get the idea that all their customers are now on the net. Yeah there might be a few holdouts here and there, but not many.

What if instead of going to war, they tried to work with the good that's on the Internet? It has shown over and over it responds. People basically want a way to feel good about themselves. To do good. To make the world better. To not feel powerless. It's perverted perhaps to think that Hollywood which is so averse to change, could try to use this goodwill to make money, but I think they could, if they appealed to our imaginations instead of fear.

Last built: Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

By Dave Winer, Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 12:17 PM. This aggression will not stand.