According to on-the-record statements by many major labels, the scene I witnessed in Fleischer's office couldn't possibly have happened. But Eric Garland, CEO of BigChampagne, says his firm is working with Maverick, Atlantic, Warner Bros., Interscope, DreamWorks, Elektra, and Disney's Hollywood label. The labels are reticent to admit their relationship with BigChampagne for public relations reasons, but there's a legal rationale, too. The record industry's lawsuits against file-sharing companies hang on their assertion that the programs have no use other than to help infringe copyrights. If the labels acknowledge a legitimate use for P2P programs, it would undercut their case as well as their zero-tolerance stance. "We would definitely consider gleaning marketing wisdom from these networks a non-infringing use," says Fred von Lohmann, staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco-based cyber liberties group that's helping to defend Morpheus, Grokster, and Kazaa.Link Discuss
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.