CANNES, France (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — After years of battling online music traders in both courts and public discourse, the music industry is being urged to "learn from the darkside" at this year's MIDEM conference.
Despite the strenuous efforts of the RIAA and similar organizations to stem the tide of illegal downloading. Reuters reported that in 2008, more than 40 billion files, or approximately 95% of all music downloaded was illegal, an increase of nearly 7% from 2007.
The industry seems to have taken note. Recently, the RIAA announced their intention to cease lawsuits against file sharers and many labels are starting to ink DRM-free deals with the major digital players such as iTunes, Amazon.com and MySpace, suggesting that the industry may be undergoing a period of transition.
Many of the speakers addressing this year's MIDEM Conference are underlying this theme. Reuters reported that Michael Robertson of Mp3Tunes.com encouraged the traditional music industry to experiment.
"When you sue a new technology, you lose the opportunity to channel that into a positive direction," he said.
Others were more critical with Google (YouTube)'s David Eun telling the assemblage at MIDEM that:
"Being partners means that you work together … and you don't necessarily presume that the other person is trying to screw you frankly,"
"There's a culture where it's: this is my interests, meet them. And … what you find is I think a risk that you decrease the number of companies and partners that you have.
"So the question I pose to you and everyone in the industry is, how much innovation is really going on in the music industry and how much more could there be." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers