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It’s worth noting that Passman feels that things will eventually get better for the business, as his Theory of Technology Cycles dictates that all the current confusion is only temporary.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS
Passman Book Revised to Include Internet Issues and How to Live on Smaller T&E
The fifth edition of superattorney Don Passman’s bestselling All You Need to Know About the Music Business is now available.

Considered the essential primer on the ins and outs of the biz, the book has recently received its most extensive update since it was first published in 1991. Makes sense, given the radical changes that have rocked the industry in recent years, and overachiever Passman—who by now has authored two well-received novels, while still finding time for pursuits as diverse as banjo, ham radio and karate—tackles each with trademark zeal and clarity. New material in the update includes information on royalty computation for uses made possible by new technology and the Internet, laws surrounding downloads and streaming (regarding the DMCA: “If you like the 1995 Digital Performance Act, you’re gonna love the encore”), industry strategies to combat piracy and new-model record deals in which companies participate in touring and merchandising.

The centerpiece chapter on Internet issues, titled “Music and New Technologies,” is all new (“Basically, I’ve torched the last edition’s new technology chapter,” he writes) and does a remarkable job of summarizing and explaining the record business’ current case of future shock. As he writes in the new introduction, “Come on in.... The water’s a little chilly, but you’ll get used to it.” It’s worth noting that Passman feels that things will eventually get better for the business, as his Theory of Technology Cycles dictates that all the current confusion is only temporary.

As with previous editions, Passman’s familiar, informal yet very economical style packs a ton of practical information on the many facets of the business into a relatively small space (though the book is well over 400 pages, one could easily imagine many of its topics demanding their own volumes).

Indeed, the only oversight in the latest update of Passman’s otherwise exhaustive and thoroughly engaging overview of the business is that he accidentally left in the part about HITS being “full of current news” and “very funny reading” (page 16). That hasn’t been true for years.

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