Monday, July 11, 2005

Now Naxos downloads from library web sites

See below an interesting development which introduces 'time limited' classical music downloads from library web sites. News story is from Playbillarts.com and doesn't seem to have spread outside the librarian community yet. Will it expand the market for classical music, or will it undermine the 'pay to listen' market further?

Naxos Recordings to Be Made Available for Download Through Libraries

"Thousands of classical recordings from the Naxos catalogue will be available for download through library web sites under a new program announced yesterday at the American Library Association conference in Chicago.
The downloads will be provided by OverDrive, Inc., which already provides digital downloads of audio books and electronic books to libraries in New York, Cleveland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and elsewhere.
Under the system, library patrons will be able to download digital music files at any time of day from the web site of their local library and play the files on a computer or transfer them to a portable digital music player (it is not clear which players will be compatible with the system). At the end of a "lending period" of two or three weeks, the files will stop working and will made available to another listener".

This is a new business model for music over the web. It appears to involve 'lending' music in the same way as books are lent, although details are still scarce. On An Overgrown Path is concerned that the financial interests of musicians, composers and producers are adequately protected as new internet distribution platforms emerge.

The driver in this development is OverDrive Inc, a leading provider of Digital Rights Management solutions, and a pioneer of e-books. (See this link for more details of their Naxos project). It is fair to assume that OverDrive Inc are going to offer a secure distribution platform. But secure doesn't mean financially rewarding for the musicians. Don't forget Naxos are partners in this, and they have already radically rewritten the royalty rules for classical musicians with their world dominating budget pricing policy for CD's.

So watch this space for more details.

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1 comment:

Fairhaven Friend said...

Hmm, I foresee great hacking opportunities here, presuming Naxos' idea works on the idea of an embedded key that tabulates the length of time the piece is "legal". Then there can be those annoyances if someone has an internal computer clock that has gone haywire, presuming the 'key' is interdependent on that--libraries do not always have the money to buy the latest technology so are apt to have PCs with busted clocks.

Seen this before when attempts were made to secure CD-ROM databases with a similar methodology. Never worked in practice like it did in theory.