Art Reblitz' points about the radio and the demise of the player piano
can't help but remind me of a phenomenon we're currently experiencing
in the music industry. Remember that radio was also a source of "free"
music and entertainment? Unlike rolls and records, once the radio
owner had the hardware, the software [the music] was free! Anyone for
Napster and MP3 players?
[ The music is free to listen to, because the radio broadcast stations
[ pay broadcast license fees to the song owners. Tavern owners also
[ pay license fees to the song owners for songs played on CDs and phono
[ records. The court has ruled that Napster must pay fees at the song
[ owners request, in a similar fashion as the radio stations. Earlier
[ courts ruled that piano rolls (and hence MIDI files) of songs fall
[ under the same rules as every other recording medium. Anyone for
[ a lawsuit? (Can you tell I'm a musician? ;-) -- Robbie