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How Big Music Threatened Startups and Killed Innovation

I usually try to stay away from the ‘downloading is good/bad’ discussion in posts but this caught my attention.

An unprecedented new report has detailed how the destruction of Napster chilled a decade’s worth of innovation in the music industry. Through interviews with 31 CEOs, company founders, and VPs who operated in digital music during the period, we hear how Big Music collapsed startups, turned down ‘blank check’ deals, and personally threatened innovators with ruination for both them and their families.

By interviewing 31 CEOs, company founders and VPs who operated in the digital music scene during the past 10 years, Associate Professor Michael A. Carrier at Rutgers University School of Law has produced a most enlightening report on the decade long aftermath of the Napster shutdown.

The interviewees are no lightweights. Included are former Napster CEO Hank Bank, Imeem founder Dalton Caldwell, Seeqpod founder Kasian Franks, Real Networks founder Rob Glaser, Scour VP & General Counsel Craig Grossman, former Gracenote CEO David Hyman, AudioGalaxy founder Michael Merhej, founder of MP3Tunes Michael Robertson, former RIAA CEO Hilary Rosen, and numerous venture capitalists and label execs.

The result is an unprecedented report on how the shutdown of Napster chilled innovation, discouraged investment, and led to a climate of copyright law-fueled fear that pushed technologists and music further apart.

Read the entire article on Torrentfreak

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