Music is the playground of the soul. And the music industry is the playground of the law. The music industry has almost inevitably found itself at the vanguard of technology. From Edison’s invention of the mere notion of recorded media, to today’s streaming platforms, music is perennially at the forefront of legal drama.
The articles in this Chronicle reflect the latest chapter in this narrative. It goes without saying that the dramatic growth of music streaming over recent years is awe-inspiring in terms of allowing the public at large access to the canon of the world’s music. Streaming provides consumers with low cost, easy access to a rich heritage of “content.” That said, new business models must be subject to scrutiny, including scrutiny under the antitrust rules.
There are multiple stakeholders. They include market actors such as (the often-forgotten) creators, labels, and consumers. Their interests must be sensibly balanced under antitrust (and other) rules.
The articles in this Chronicle reflect the state of the art in thought as to how these interests must be balanced. A nuanced set of solutions to the dilemmas facing the music industry have the potential to show the way forward for other industries, as antitrust redefines itself in the 21st Century.
As always, thank you to our great panel of authors.