Merlin Mann schreibt auf 43Folders einen wunderbar salop formulierten Text zu Kutimans Youtube-Mashup-Sensation, die sich hoffentlich jeder von Euch mittlerweile angehört hat. „Because, this is what your new Elvis looks like, gang.“ Wunderbar.
Unsolicited tip for media company c-levels: if your reaction to this crate of magic is “Hm. I wonder how we’d go about suing someone who ‘did this’ with our IP?” instead of, “Holy crap, clearly, this is the freaking future of entertainment,” it’s probably time to put some ramen on your Visa and start making stuff up for your LinkedIn page.
Because, this is what your new Elvis looks like, gang. And, eventually somebody will figure out (and publicly admit) that Kutiman, and any number of his peers on the “To-Sue” list, should be passed from Legal down to A&R.
Everybody knows the business has moved from legal to binary files. The question now is how much more lead time old media companies and other IP-obsessives can afford to burn by pretending it’s otherwise.
In the mean time, though, you have to wonder how much artists like Kutiman (or, for that matter, Jonathan), really need the mixed basket of theoretical benefits that big companies with big distribution can provide. For a long-lived career, does a boot-strapping indie artist with giant niche appeal gain enough from a big-company relationship to offset the loss in agility, equity, and flexibility? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.