Friday, 11 June 2010

The Future of Music... and libraries?

This morning I've been following a conference organised by the Contemporary Music Centre on The Future of Music in the Digital World.  A common theme is coming through the Twitter feed that online dissemination is essential.  Good news for performers who can persuade people to pay directly for content, bad news for the ones who are not yet established and have to give lots away for free in a bid to gain recognition, bad news for the middle-men, but what are the implications for the library and archive sector?

A few quick questions come to mind:
  1. If artists release only in electronic form, will libraries be forced to subscribe to electronic packages such as those available for journals?  I can see this being very complicated for specialist libraries.
  2. Will they have to contact individual performers in an attempt to obtain good quality recordings or resort to burning lower quality content in order to have a copy at all - and what are the copyright implications of that?
  3. How can music be adequately collected and archived if published on individual websites - will we have to rely on what's on iTunes?
I'm sure this has been addressed before so I'll do some research (once I've finished the essay I'm working on), but I'd be interested in any thoughts people have to share on this.

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