If, like the author of Free Ride, Robert Levine, you believe that digital parasites are destroying the culture business, then the time has come for a major counterattack against both piracy and the free culture movement. Thus, as Levine told me last week when he came into our New York City studio, the challenge is for the culture business to establish what he calls “more control” over pricing as well as embracing more innovative artist-fan business models like Top Spin and Bandcamp.
But Levine doesn’t believe that the market alone is sufficient to enable the culture business to effectively fight back against digital parasites. Thus, as he told me, there is the need for certain new laws, such as the proposed ProtectIP Act now winding its way through Congress, designed to eliminate pirate sites. Not everyone, of course, agrees with Levine. And yet given the enormous value of the culture business to the US economy, only a really hardcore opponent of large media companies would dismiss the need for any legislation to fight today’s digital parasites.
This is the second and final interview with Robert Levine. Yesterday, Levine explained to me why, he thinks, Google is killing our culture.