Lanier didn’t go into much background in this section, and I think it would have helped a lot if he did because the idea he put forward could be revolutionary for the music industry. He talks about how people download music all too frequently and how it’s almost impossible to make a living as a musician these days purely from music sales.
In terms of software, a dongle is usually a USB stick that needs to be plugged into the computer for certain software to work. For example, for several years, Pro Tools has come with the necessity of a dongle to make it work. If you’ve spent time looking for anything online, chances are that you’ve seen that most software out there, games, DJ programs, etc., exist in a cracked form, where they can be downloaded and used for free. These dongles have been around for several years now, and still haven’t been cracked or hacked into to be able to distribute and use the software for free.
If this kind of technology was successfully applied to music, not only would piracy go down, but if done right, piracy wouldn’t be possible anymore. This essentially means that musicians will no longer have to be constantly touring, attempting to make enough from the road to feed themselves before the next tour. We’d be able to go back to a pre-2000 time when musicians actually made money from their music. I don’t expect every musician out there would become filthy rich, but they’d get the money they earned from the product that they put time, money, and hard work into. As someone who plans to be very involved in the music industry, this is a huge concept that has the potential to completely change the way the music industry is run now, and I very much look forward to a time when someone manages to commit time and resources to this idea, or one like it, and revolutionize the music industry again.
I don’t know if it’d go so far as the way he describes, such as technology that mixes together songs from different peoples songles just from being in the same room and making a party playlist, but the basic concept is definitely one that should be explored if the music industry wants to continue to survive, and if people want new artists to keep appearing.