Ownership might be getting replaced with membership, or revised to mean membership. In the not-distant future, maybe we’ll belong to dozens of “exchange communities” or bartering networks of varying levels of exclusivity. The largest barter network in the Maryland-DC area, Barter Systems Inc., has over 1400 members. Members can barter a mailing list management service for stress management or maid services.
Among the bigger-name streaming services are Spotify, which uses a freemium ad-supported, desktop app-based model; Rdio, which takes a tiered, cloud-based approach; and Pandora, whose personalised streaming radio is also available on a freemium ad-supported model. There’s also Wimp, Rara, Napster, We7, Pure, Last.fm, Senzari, Grooveshark, Sony Music Unlimited, Songza, Mog, Samsung Music Hub, and Microsoft’s Xbox Music, to name a few. In total, more than 500 legal music services are operating across the world, together having registered over 13 million paying subscribers - a figure that jumped more than 65 per cent last year, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) Digital Music Report 2012 ….
It’s all about access, not ownership. And Freemium. The music business needs to get this, or fold.
Joi Ito is the chief executive of Creative Commons, a not-for-profit organisation that is tackling head on the challenges of intellectual property and copyright ownership in a digital age. Joi argues that permissive licences, which allow people to share creative and other materials, are good for innovation.
An interview I did with Joi for the Tech Weekly podcast in December of last year.
See also the Observer article that resulted. Here’s a snippet:
Aren’t our concepts of copyright ownership outdated in the digital age, where it’s easy and cheap to copy and distribute anything?
As CEO of Creative Commons, I have a very clear position: we’re pro-copyright and we work within the constraints of copyright. It’s a hack; we’re trying within copyright to lower friction as much as possible without breaking the law or forcing people who use copyright to have to change what they do. We believe open is better. But we don’t go around telling people they should give things away.
Where do you think things are heading?
Well, I do think the models we’ve created around ownership and copyright are outdated. I’m not sure about the idea that information is the same as a thing – so if you give it away, you don’t have it anymore. A banana is worth a dollar, you give it away and you don’t have it anymore. But that’s a very simplistic view of the way in which the informationeconomy works. It’s never worked that way before. If you are an academic, your value increases every time someone references one of your papers. If you charged a dollar for everyone to cite your paper, that would increase the friction involved in that transaction. And which would you rather? That you get paid or that everyone cites your work? It’s obvious.