Jeff Jarvis charts the ongoing decline of the newspaper business - it's been a bad week for the news business. In reading through the cuts and changes, I realized that I was reading a proxy for the fears of the RIAA (and eventually, the MPAA).
The news business is changing, due to a number of related events:
- The non-stop, 24x7 news cycle that the cable news outlets can cover
- The availability of 24x7 news online - delivered in ways that fit nearly any ideological or taste niche
Daily newspapers can't keep up with that unless they go digital - and that business is mostly ad supported (as opposed to ad and subscription supported). The music business sees that same thing coming at them - a digital juggernaught of ad-supported, no copy protection data files. The margins there are a lot lower, and (literally) thousands of the current middle men have no place in that future.
The newspapers can't fight the future with DRM and the DMCA; they have to adapt, no matter how painful and gut wrenching that adaptation is. The music business, thus far, has taken the "preserve our business model at all costs" route instead. When their fall comes, it will be all the more catastrophic for them, because they'll have been living in denial for too long.