So last night we had an impromptu Karaoke party. First, let me say this sort of social, frivolous, evening behavior
never rarely happens at SharedBook. We work too late, are too focused, need to get up too early to talk to our developers in Israel and generally are all grown-ups who have lived that life already. That being said...there was singing!
This may be a stretch - in fact I know it's a stretch, but here goes: Big Media could learn a lot from karaoke. Here is this rich database of archival content, stretching across multiple genres. The brilliant minds who invented karaoke knew that this content resonated strongly across cultures. They set up a distribution mechanism to allow an individual to select the content most relevant to them, MAKE IT THEIR OWN, and to distribute their unique version of this content to a community. That is a beautiful thing.
Some choose to distribute to a whole bar, some like it in the privacy of their own basement. The abiding philosophy though, is that you open the doors wide and don't worry about what is chosen or how it is used. Yes, copyright should be protected and the originators should be paid, but let the consumer have at it. I just found a great old post from Fred Wilson's site which offers his take on the same idea.