Google launches massive music giveaway in China
The hour of reckoning is well at hand for music labels and the Internet providers that, by complicity with rampant music piracy, usher their coffins into the Earth. And in a massive initiative aimed at curbing piracy in China, which numbers a staggering 300 million Internet users, Google has climbed into bed with numerous labels, major and indie, to beat pirates to the punch with a deluge of free music.
In America, music piracy is seen as a venal sin, a crime of convenience that puts the newest Coldplay singles in the hands of so many college freshmen before the album can even make waves on the streets.
But in China, this sort of piracy is a veritable industry. Squashing piracy sites, in addition to being fairly low on the list of priorities for the country's behemoth government, is something like spitting at shadows, or crushing splinter cells in a vast game of whack-a-mole. Crack down on one, two more pop up.
The prez of Warner Music Asia claimes, in an AP report, that "[t]his is the first really serious attempt to start monetizing online music in China." Exactly how free music monetizes the product is beyond we peabrained bloggers at Gimme Noise, but we have to assume that these plutocratic bigwigs know what they're talking about, right? Right?
Piracy is far from a new problem, and the silver bullet to stop free downloading and get people to start paying for their music once more is a problem that no one quite knows how to solve. Our incurable cynicism aside, Gimme Noise will go on record that, if the initiative works, we will eat all our pirated MP3s with mustard and sauerkraut. And we HATE sauerkraut.
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