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A View from Rodney Brooks

MIT's Music Service Shut Down

Last week I relayed that two MIT students had set up a new music service that sent music over MIT’s analog cable TV network and so was legal under existing laws as MIT was paying normal music distribution fees for…

  • November 3, 2003

Last week I relayed that two MIT students had set up a new music service that sent music over MIT’s analog cable TV network and so was legal under existing laws as MIT was paying normal music distribution fees for analog networks (e.g., campus radio stations pay fixed fees so that they can play copyright music). Two stories in the NY Times and on CNN relate how the service has been shut down. It appears that the licensing services who were fully aware of what was being proposed for over a year have now suddenly said that they did not have the right to license this form of distribution afterall. The world will not stand still despite how fervently the traditional music distribution channels wish they would. There will be more and more technical innovation and old products, like the current old distribution products will eventually die. Just last week Kodak announced that they would stop production of their 35mm slide projectors–digital photography and LCD projectors have finally killed them. Nothing lasts forever but sometimes some companies go down with a real struggle–others accept changing realities and find new products and new markets, as Kodak has done by moving into digital photography.

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