MP3.com‘s was one of the largest public IPOs in history. Their database represents the largest collection of musical work by unsigned artists ever assembled – more than a million songs by a quarter million artists. Vivendi sold the MP3.com domain to c|net — the domain, but not the business. And now, for whatever reason, the entire collection is going to be destroyed Dec. 3.
Not sure how I feel about this. At least no one is trying to transfer rights out from under the artists, but I have to think there’s a better way than demolishing the collection, and the business model. Michael Robertson is pleading with archive.org to mirror the lot, but time is short. I think what makes me sad about this is the fact that MP3.com was the best living example of how to do an end-run around the music industry legally. How to let good, unheard music bubble up to the surface organically, by the will of the people, rather stars being manufactured by execs and spoon-fed to passive audiences. And it was the best example of artists selling music without getting ripped off.
Not sure if I’d equate this loss with the burning of library at Alexandria, but it’s a disappointment nonetheless.