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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 23, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

    Is the music industry fighting a losing battle?

    Ciara O'Brien

    How times have changed. When I first started going to concerts, you were thoroughly searched on the way in for cameras and other recording equipment that might be used to video the band.
    These days, to prevent people from bringing in video devices you’d have to confiscate mobile phones from everyone going through the door.

    A quick look around the Odyssey for the Killers on Saturday night proved that they’d be fighting a losing battle. Hundreds of mobile phones and digital cameras, all recording their favourite bits of the gig for future viewing. By late Saturday evening, footage from the concert was already up on YouTube, shared with millions of people.

    To be frank, this type of sharing won’t bring down the music industry. Or the video industry for that matter.

    But it shows just what the record labels are up against – tech savvy teenagers and a generation of young people who have grown up with instant access to information at their finger tips.They know how to get it, and they expect to be able to find it.

    The last few years is littered with ways the industry tried – and failed – to halt file sharing, from digital rights management on CDs, which was an utter waste of money, to dragging alleged file sharers through the courts. Every time the labels think they’ve found a new way to prevent people from sharing their files, someone comes up with a way around it.

    Maybe if they put more effort into finding a better way to capitalise on the internet and it’s benefits, and less time trying to come down hard on those they suspect of copyright infringement, it would be better received and far less of a PR disaster than their current efforts.