Continuing Examples of Music Industry Stupidity

This is worth a lengthy quote:
NY Times: Now the Music Industry Wants Guitarists to Stop Sharing

Lauren Keiser, president of the Music Publishers’ Association, says guitar tablature Web sites reduce the earnings of songwriters.

In the last few months, trade groups representing music publishers have used the threat of copyright lawsuits to shut down guitar tablature sites, where users exchange tips on how to play songs like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Highway to Hell” and thousands of others.

“People can get it for free on the Internet, and it’s hurting the songwriters,” said Lauren Keiser, who is president of the Music Publishers’ Association and chief executive of Carl Fischer, a music publisher in New York.

So far, the Music Publishers’ Association and the National Music Publishers’ Association have shut down several Web sites, or have pressured them to remove all of their tabs, but users have quickly migrated to other sites. According to comScore Media Metrix, an Internet statistics service, had 1.4 million visitors in July, twice the number from a year earlier.

The publishers, who share royalties with composers each time customers buy sheet music or books of guitar tablature, maintain that tablature postings, even inaccurate ones, are protected by copyright laws because the postings represent “derivative works” related to the original compositions, to use the industry jargon.

So, let me get this straight. There are 1.4 million web surfers addicted to guitar tablature. And there is an existing legal arrangement where the publishers share royalties with the artists.
Listen up bubba, this right here is what we call a strategy: The publishers should license the websites to use the material and find the natural market price point.
D’oh, he said.
I mean, come on! This is not rocket science. Charge $0.99 a song for guitar tablature PDFs and see what happens, fer cryin’ out loud! There might be varying degrees of sophistication among the PDF products, and maybe some tabs are worth $1.49, or even $2.99 per song. Maybe some are only worth $0.49 or $0.29. Who cares? Internet distribution removes friction. You can make money at any price by scaling to the market.
Instead of shutting them down they should be creating a new market.
I can’t even believe people are this dumb sometimes.
So here’s your Web 2.0 startup solution: Define a standard XML format for guitar tablature, and a server-side translator to take this XML, render it through template(s), and generate PDFs on the fly. Optionally, develop and support some sort of digital rights management scheme that is not ridiculously onerous. Tie this into a mass-customized MLM marketing, e-commerce, and community-driven web interface, and get started in the indie low-budget music scene. Build an audience, and a revenue stream, and sign on the heavyweights. At some point they will realize that while it might be worth reverse engineering the software and building their own system, they can’t replicate the community.
Then you have your liquidity event, as they say.