by Rob Reid
With book sales going digital much faster than music sales did, why is the publishing industry growing, and not imploding? How threatened are publishers & labels as content creators start developing audiences directly through iTunes and Kindles? What does this mean for independent writers & musicians? And do our deranged copyright laws benefit anyone but profiteering lawyers? Rob Reid’s talk will compare the online challenges faced by publishing vs. music. Rob founded Listen.com, which created Rhapsody – the first digital music service fully licensed by every major label. Rhapsody remains one of the largest online music services, and is owned by MTV and RealNetworks. Now an author, Rob’s in the thick of another industry’s digital transformation. Rob’s book Year Zero (published by Random House this July) addresses some of these issues. In it, aliens seek to erase the ruinous fines on their vast collections of pirated American music by destroying the Earth. Parts of it are made up.
Good libraries are community-minded, technologically-aware, devoted to increasing access to information, and interested in preserving the local cultural heritage. Good newspapers aggregate and curate information for their readers, prioritize the local population, and are the record of a place, a time, a citizenry. Both believe they must tell stories for everyone, not just themselves.
Libraries have experience with media production, and are already a known community resource. Supporting communication within their community falls within the library’s mandate to increase access to information. Building on the “maker” ethic, how can libraries help their communities make their own news, write their own stories, publish their own histories?
9th–13th March 2012