A Bad Story about Five Cent Songs

Slashdot links to a Globe and Mail story in which an academic at McGill University floats a pitch for five cents a song:

Pearlman proposes putting all recorded music on a robust search engine — Google would be an ideal choice, but even iTunes might work — and charging an insignificant fee of, say, five cents a song. In addition, a 1 per cent sales tax would be placed on Internet services and new computers — two industries that many argue have profited enormously from rampant file-sharing, but haven’t had to compensate artists.

This is a simplistic solution to a complex problem, and pales in comparison to the EFF’s proposal. Besides, I’m already buying music for five cents a song from Russia.

That’s neither here nor there. What isn’t, however, is the shoddy research that went into this article. Not only does Guy Dixon fail to mention AllofMP3.com–a popular and relevant example, but he also fails to address digital rights management. If fact, the article is profoundly short on facts. What are the conclusions of Pearlman’s studies? How many million more songs will be purchased at five cents a copy? How much with the artists see of that five cents?

In short, this is a fluffy piece short on facts with some attractive company names sprinkled in. It reads like it came right off the press release.

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