Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Digital Landscape – when global is local

I have been reading with some interest about the new Limewire music store. Unfortunately it will only be available in America which is a shame because it will offer both individual downloads as well as packaged downloads whereby a listener can purchase a bulk amount of tracks per month for as little as 27 cents each. All tracks will be DRM free and from non-major label artists.

As someone located outside the United States (and Europe for that matter), my view of the digital landscape is scattered with these fabulous opportunities that I am simply not able to access. The frustrating thing is knowing that the technology is there, that these services would easily be able to service a wider area and that the most likely impediment is copyright law. The time it takes to license music across jurisdictions has undoubtedly been a major factor contributing to wide spread piracy. It wasn’t until near the end of 2005 that iTunes launched in Australia, over 18 months after it became available in the United States. Emusic was another of these – when I first inquired about subscribing to this site I was told that I couldn’t because of my location; I have since been able to subscribe (as have a total of 400,000 people who together have downloaded some 177 million tracks). Similarly, when the Napster(2) began allowing music to be streamed prior to purchase I eagerly went to their site to try it out but of course was refused permission because of my location.

I am no longer surprised when I encounter this type of geographical discrimination but I remain disappointed. In this case I am surely among friends - recent reports indicate that Limewire is installed on 30% of the Worlds computers.


Slyck, Limewire Opens Music Store (18 March 2008) <> at 27 March 2008

Digital Music News, LimeWire Store Starts Bearing Fruit; DRM-Free Catalog Appears (19 March 2008) <> at 23 March 2008

ZeroPaid, Limewire Opens Music Store (20 March 2008) <> at 22 March 2008

P2pBlog, Limewire launches music download store (16 March 2008) <> at 18 March 2008

Digital Music News, LimeWire Keeps Legit Flame Alive, Taps Redeye Content (22 February 2008) <> at 25 February 2008

EFFector, LimeWire on 1 in 3 Desktops World-Wide (22 December 2007) < at 20 January 2008

ZeroPaid, STUDY: 26% of Kids Still Using Limewire (1 February 2008) <> at 4 February 2008

Digital Music News, Holiday Offensive Pushes eMusic Past 400,000 Mark (28 December 20070 <> at 11 January 2008

ZDNet, iTunes Music Store comes to Australia (25 October 2005) <,130061733,139218798,00.htm> at 27 March 2008

Digital Music News, Napster Quietly Buries Free, Ad-Supported Initiative (10 September 2007) <> at 24 September 2007

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