Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Call Scan & Match an Amnesty: Call It Amnesty and Abolition

People have been saying that Apple's announced Scan & Match represents an amnesty to illegal downloaders  (see 1.6 million hits for scan & match amnesty)

Make no mistake:  it's not just an amnesty, it's an abolition.   It's not just what this does to past pirates.  That's a minor footnote.  It is the incentive it creates for tomorrow

It now behooves anyone who was buying music on June 6th to immediately STOP DOING SO, get it for free somewhere* then store it in Jobs' cloud and thereby get your music at a 99.993% discount (yes, i did the math).

The record industry is basically inviting you to do that.  Look at the statement from Frances Moore, president of the IFPI, the largest-in-the-world representative body of the four major labels:

IFPI’s chief executive, Frances Moore, told me via email that iTunes Match was “good news for music consumers and for the legitimate digital music business. It is the latest example of music companies embracing new technology, licensing new services that respect copyright and responding to the new ways consumers want to access and enjoy music.”

That's right.  She just said that a new service that even an Apple spokeswoman admits ignores copyright, respects copyright.  Brave new world.  And that "new way consumers want to access and enjoy music".  What can she mean other than getting it for free and paying a nominal amount to access it from a cloud?

In the end, what is a user to conclude but that if you pay your $24.99, your downloads are "all licensed up."?

* p2p, bit torrent, Google docs, email, rapidshare, intitle search, zip drive from a dorm-mate ... whatever ... Who knows?  Why not just develop a Limewire app for iPhone and cut to the chase?

6/21/2011 Update: Gracenote has disclosed how Apple's iTunes Match service will work when it launches alongside iCloud in the fall.  According to SAI:  "iTunes Match will not, as previously speculated, use any kind of customized new and more secure fingerprinting technology to determine what songs you have in your music library.  If you have a 128 kbps version of a song you pirated, iTunes Match will feed your Apple devices a 256 kbps version of the track.  One more thing to note: you'll be able to upload any music iTunes Match can't find to Apple server's for listening on your Apple devices."

Let's just say that (in honor of the opening of Wimbeldon) with this news it is no longer "advantage, Pirates" but pretty much "game, set, match".

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