The streaming music service startup Sonific will be temporarily down by May 1. Gerd Leonard, who is a prominent music and media futurist and CEO of the company, writes:

“The bottom line is that this industry is certifiably dysfunctional and that we do not see a plausible path to take at this time. We neither want to engage in so-called copyright infringement nor do we have millions of dollars available to buy our way in when it is abundantly clear that doing business under the existing rules of the major labels will simply amount to economic suicide.”

This is really sad to hear. I’ve felt some winds of change coming from the major labels (Imeem contracts, the Nokia deal etc) and thought that we were getting somewhere with this Renaissance of ours. Again it’s clear that the grave for the music business everybody is talking about might be digged by themselves.

To me this is furthermore emphasizing the importance of the focus on a Digital Renaissance seminar in mid May. Arguments. We have to take in experts, internet strategists, programmers, policy makers, academic researchers etc, from “outside” to formulate arguments. It’s pretty clear for many of us how future music services can work to satisfied both the music owners and the users. But the problem is, again, the huge gap between the business and the rest. What we have to do, we as in everybody that believes in the future of music and the internet, is to take our belief and transform them into arguments that get a grip on those executives at major labels that at the moment is putting a brake on its own development and new revenue possibilities.

I think they are scared. They know they’ll loose some of the control they’ve had over the years. The best way to gain trust with somebody that’s scared is to present trustworthy arguments and evidence formulated in a way they can relate to. I hope we will be able take some important steps in that seminar. We will certainly not reach the final arguments but I think we might be one step further an improvement just trying to understand and argue for “our cause” in way that is intended for those who finally will take the decisions.

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