The Great Mirage Of Music Ownership
iTunes and Amazon have spent lots of money trying to convince the next generation of music buyers that owning a physical box set is the same thing as having MP3s of it on their iPod. Even after all these years, most fans are still less than persuaded.
Steve Jobs will proudly tell you that an MP3 is worth exactly ninety-nine cents. A teen living in the middle of nowhere, downloading music off the web, might tell you that an MP3 isn't worth anything. The record industry waged a war over this discrepancy. The movie studios have too. One day, the publishing industry will fight their battle. From the perspective of Chris Kornelis, music ownership is a mirage and the record labels are failing to make it real.
"iTunes and Seattle's Amazon.com have been selling mp3s to customers convinced that they own mp3s in the same way they own that box of Fleetwood Mac and Jim Croce LPs in the basement.
When we talk about digital music, we're talking about nothing.
We're not talking about cassette tapes. We're not talking about CDs. We're not talking about a double gatefold, 180-gram LP set.
We're talking about digital files that sit on a hard drive, that are easier to lose than Canadian pennies, and that listeners only pay for if they choose to. They barely exist. We barely own them...
When you cancel Rhapsody, you're left with nothing. And when you discontinue your subscription to eMusic, you only get to keep your music until your computer crashes, you lose your iPhone, or you switch jobs and inevitably do not back up your music correctly, and you are left with nothing. Even a key chain is better than nothing." (Read on.)