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Futurists and industry analysis agree we are on the verge of a revolution in the music business.  Gerd Leonhard posits in “the days of the lauded ‘Internet music revolution’ were just a mere testing ground, like the first kicks of a baby during pregnancy.”[1] Similarly, music business analyst Bob Lefsetz believes “[w]e could be on the verge of a renaissance…[t]he death of the traditional label model could eliminate looks-based music and formulaic radio…[e]verything you hated is essentially gone.” [2] This revolution in the music business has been predicted for well over a decade.
In “The Economy of Ideas” John Perry Barlow draws the poignant analogy of the music industry of the future being like “selling wine without bottles on the global net.”[3] He argues it was the ability to deliver wine (music) in a physical form that the rights of invention and authorship adhered thereto.  The value was in the conveyance of property, not the thought conveyed.  Throughout history “[p]roperty was the divine right of thugs.”[4] The record industry caused it to be “the bottle that was protected, not the wine.”[5] Music, being a non-physical idea, has been converted into property through industry.  Building upon Barlow’s concept, Leonhard argues music will no longer viewed as a product but rather a service.[6] Music only became viewed as a product because of the agenda of an industry that quickly learned “selling the bottle can make a lot more money than only selling the wine…[f]or the future, think of a “record label” as a ‘music utility company.’”[7] It appears the record industry is broken but the music industry has a future.  With the right concept and execution a revolution in the way consumers access music will continue to happen.  The business models of the future bear this in mind.  A growing number of artists refusing to deal with traditional record labels have experimented with the following alternatives:

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Too often creative-minded people focus 100% of their attention on their craft and forget to safeguard themselves from crippling legal and business issues that prevent financial success. This site is designed to provide artists of all mediums (authors, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, etc.) with critical legal knowledge and business concepts to further their creative careers by protecting both their work and themselves from potential legal pitfalls and business failures.

In order to provide you – the creative – with relevant content, I am going to need your help. Ideally, each post will serve as a prompt for conversation. If I discuss an issue in a way that’s helpful to you, please let me know. If you would like more information or clarification, leave a comment. In addition, please contact me at any time with questions, suggestions, or ideas as to what topics would be most helpful and interesting.

I am sincerely looking forward to building a community around this site and making an significant impact in the lives of artists. Thank you in advance for your participation, attention, and interest in serving the creative class with me.

Dedicated to your creative success,

Ian Gibson, Esq.