Most markets also have intermediaries, and folks standing in for one side or the other of a transaction.
All these people in the middle are threatened by the Internet. But few have the power and money to fight back.
The music business does have this power and money. That had the power to get the DMCA through Congress, to get the WIPO treaty passed, and thus to get DMCA-like laws passed around the world. They constantly harp on the idea that they’re in it to "stop illegal downloading," in other words, to represent the interests of the seller of product against the buyer.
But this is simply not true. They are, in fact, trying to retain their power as an intermediary, in behalf of the seller, and prevent that seller from going direct to the market.
Every once in a while we get wind of another artist who breaks through the noise and does exactly this. Usually it’s a previously-unknown artist who did a lot of their own technical and marketing work, and who is thrilled that (thanks to their success) a publisher has stepped in to hand them an advance check.
This week, however, we have an established artist with almost no technical background using the medium music publishers wish to destroy to reach the audience and find great success.
The name of this worthy artist?
Wierd Al Yankovic.
That’s right, gang. Wierd Al has a new album out. Its name is Straight Outta Lynwood.
Despite his 25 year career of fame and (some) fortune, it’s the first
time he’s had a Top 10 hit. It has a hit single, "White and Nerdy,"
which is an even-bigger hit than his 1984 classic Michael Jackson
parody, "Eat it."
Why is White and Nerdy such a hit? To what does Wierd Al credit his career renaissance?
Youtube. Which has the video available for download. And MySpace, where
Al now has 155,000 "friends." And iTunes, where he is now a singles
How does he know for certain that the Internet has made him big again?
Partly because of the first video he uploaded, the "classic" "Don’t
Download This Song." (above)
And this does another RIAA shibboleth die. You might even say, "Another One Bites The Dust." Or something like it.