Distributing Music

, Jun 7, 2004

Funny, today I had a discussion with a colleague about legal options for distributing music, and then I come across this article about something related — a peer-to-peer broadcasting network.

Our idea, which probably isn’t new and has lots of legal problems we didn’t think about, went roughly like this: Since it’s legal to give a CD one has bought to somebody else, who can listen to it and then return it — because the owner can’t listen to it while he’s given it away, and clearly lending your CDs to somebody else for free can’t be illegal — it should be possible to do something equivalent over the web.

This would be like a sort of floating license — only one person can listen to a particular song at any one time. Users would transfer their right to listen to music over the web instead of physically, but I can’t see any legal difference. If songs are so popular that many people want to listen to them simultaneously, the provider would simply buy more licenses … does this make any sense? Probably not, so it’s a good thing we’re not in the music business :-)

On May 9, 2006 5:55 AM, Legato said:

Yeah, that made sense. But I do have one question. What do you think about uploading music, say to Putlife.com., and post links on a message borads? Will that count as an Illegal Music Distribution? ‘Cause I don’t think it would.