Terre Haute's MusicRebellion, founded by two psychologists, looks to succeed on the Web by getting into the heads of online music lovers.
The name of the new Terre Haute-based online download service may be MusicRebellion, but the company is anything but rebellious.
Napster; you may recall, was the real rebel in this industry. The songswapping service was created to let music lovers share their tunes with one another, to hell with copyright law. Napster's musical rebellion, of course, was silenced in court.
Indiana's MusicRebellion, on the other hand, is designed to be legal. Unlike Napster, which MusicRebellion disdainfully refers to as "legally challenged," MusicRebellion will share royalties with the artists whose works are downloaded from its site, musicrebellion.com.
Still, MusicRebellion isn't exactly cozy with the big record labels, says Dr. Jan Eglen, a Terre Haute psychologist by day who heads MusicRebellion in his spare time. Though MusicRebellion would love to do business with the biggies and distribute their tunes, the major labels have other plans for music downloads. For now, MusicRebellion will deal with independent labels when it goes live this month from its headquarters at Rose-Hulman Ventures, with a staff that includes some Rose-Hulman students.
Eglen founded Music-Rebellion with Dr. Roger Davis, a well-known Florida psychologist who literally wrote the book on personality disorders. The two friends, Eglen says, decided a couple years ago that they should launch some sort of project together. "We wanted to apply some behavioral analysis to a pressing social issue. We both like music, so we decided to go after Napster."
What does Napster have to do behavioral analysis? It's not as much of a stretch as it sounds. Napster, you see, was a highly organized way for ordinary people to break the law by pirating music. Eglen and Davis hoped to get inside the heads of music lovers, learn why so many were willing to break the law, then defeat that tendency.
Their conclusion, essentially, was that a lot of music consumers feel like they're getting ripped off. Yes, they love music, but they feel that the labels are setting...