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‘We’re outta here,’ said TAG Strategic managing partner Ted Cohen, also declaring: “We are no longer railing against technological advancements.” His words came at the recent Midem fest was because, “Executives agreed that while in previous years the music industry had swung between nervousness to outright hostility towards the Internet and mobile telephone makers particularly on the issue of piracy, the mood had changed at MIDEM 2009,” he said. TechDirt founder Mike Manick was also there and as he posts in TechDirt, “My initial summary of my trip to the Midem music industry event in January was that it was about turning ‘optimism into denial’.” He goes on »»» There was a tremendous sense of optimism from all sorts of upstarts: musicians and companies who were really innovating and creating wonderful success stories over and over again. And then… the old school industry guys showed up. They spoke about the optimism and the success stories… and said a few things that made it sound like the got it. They talked about ending this “war” with consumers, and focusing on solutions that worked. But, then the clouds would descend, and they’d immediately start angrily saying that even with these great new business models and innovations, “we need to stomp out piracy.” In doing so, they demonstrated how severely they missed the point — and it’s now showing in their actions. We’ve been seeing more braindead maneuvers over the last month with highly questionable lawsuits, and licensing decisions that only serve to piss off users. It seems that my initial read is (unfortunately) the same conclusion others are coming to as well. Two of the “industry insiders” I got to meet at the event — who both came down on the “optimistic” side at the event have each written up blog posts for the MidemNet blog, complaining about the very same thing. That initial sense of optimism that was seen at the event has pretty much gone away — crushed by dumb moves within the industry. Ted Cohen, who helped moderate much of the event, diplomatically points out that for all the talk of collaboration at the event, the chaos isn’t over, and he wonders when we’ll actually get down to business. Meanwhile, Bruce Houghton (of the excellent Hypebot blog) more specifically fears that all the talk of a more collaborative approach was nothing more than talk — and there is no intention to really collaborate. This is a pretty big problem — and I obviously won’t speak for either Bruce or Ted, who I’m pretty sure would disagree with this assessment — but, it won’t change until the old system and the old structures and the “old guard” are finally pushed out. There are tons of success stories — but those are in spite of the industry, not because of it. It’s time to wipe out the house of cards that the industry has built in terms of Rube Goldbergian copyright licensing schemes, and start fresh. There are business models that work great for everyone — but the current system is designed to allow bystanders and middlemen to profit at the expense of the musicians and the public. However, “Get rid of the old system,” suggests, “and everyone but those middlemen will benefit.”