Warner Music CEO: We Went To War With Consumers

Recording industry finally admits it made a mistake in its attack on illegal downloads

Maybe for the first time ever, somebody in the recording industry has admitted in public what a colossal screw-up the labels' approach to the Internet and digital media has been.

Here's Warner Music CEO Edger Bronfman speaking at a recent industry conference in Macau:

"We used to fool ourselves. We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won."

After years of the DRM-happy and "sue everybody" attitude of the music biz and its RIAA front men, Bronfman's words in Macau are little surprising to say the least. (Can you hear that sound? That's hell freezing over.)

His words are also a little late. There's no telling how many innovative new technology ideas have been crushed by threats of copyright lawsuits from the RIAA over the last 10 years. Bronfman's words are probably also of little interest to thousands of people who've already been sued for file sharing.

See the rest of Bronfman's surprising comments here and here.

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Mark Sullivan

PC World (US online)
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