Hip-Hop Fridays: The Distributors Absorb the Revolution

This has not been a good week for those of us who have been advocating that Hip-Hop artists embrace the Internet and sell their creative works directly to their audiences. To begin the week, we learned that MP3.com had lost a ruling to the major Distributors over copyright infringement. And now, to end the week, we learn that indeed the distributors have begun to use the very same technology that they have been at war against to begin to do what the artists could be doing for themselves - sell their music online.

The distributors are basically giving those with the technology to sell music over the Internet two choices: work with us or be destroyed. Several breaking stories illustrate the strategy and tactics involved as well as the growing capitulation of those with the technology. If ever there was a week where the war was lost, it was this week. But it is still early in the battle - artists can still begin to take positive steps along the lines that BlackElectorate.com and others have been outlining.

Here are a few articles to read in order to see how aggressively the distributors are fighting against what they fear the most.

Sony-Universal service echoed by MP3

RIAA Wins Suit against MP3

Judge: MP3 Ruling not a Close Call

Cedric Muhammad

Friday, May 5, 2000