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Lifestyles

October 20, 2007

Tech, G.P.: Band embraced Internet technology

The world changed a little bit on Oct. 10.

You probably didn't notice, but there certainly are those who did.

Some of those involved are happily celebrating. Others are not celebrating, and the reason is because they were not involved.

A group of British musicians named Radiohead released its seventh album, ``In Rainbows," that day. This, in itself, is not the big deal.

It was the way they did it that was important.

Radiohead used to have a contract with a major record label. The record company controlled all of the distribution of the group's prior albums, including making CDs, pricing, paying the band a share of the money collected, and so forth.

But then the contract ran out, and the group decided not to renew it. Members decided to do all the stuff the record company did on their own. They started by releasing the album for digital downloading on the Internet.

Now, this would not be such a big deal if the group was just a little relatively unknown band. But the group is a big name (maybe not to my generation, but to my kids it is). It's well-known and sells a lot of CDs.

You may have guessed by now that those who are not celebrating are the record companies.

One band may not be such a big deal, but if the idea catches on, it would not be a good thing for them.

And it may catch on.

Many, many people are fed up with big record companies.

Record companies are struggling to ignore the fact that the Internet has changed the world, and people want to download music, in many cases instead of buying the CDs that the record companies make so much money producing.

Instead of embracing the idea of digital downloading, and adapting their business model to reality, they have been bent on seizing control of it so they can continue to make a lot of money.

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