Digging Into the Vision Behind Choruss

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Just what is the vision behind Choruss?

That is a good question with limited answers, at least right now.  The blanket-level, access-driven, university-focused approach towards music consumption was discussed Thursday at the Digital Music Forum East by Choruss chieftain Jim Griffin, a man with an emerging plan.

In fairness, Griffin offered some clarity to the concept, aptly recorded by ArsTechnica journalist John Timmer, though Choruss appears more of an incubator than a hardened model.  Griffin appeared ready to experiment and adapt to university needs and feedback, and pointed to an initial crop of half-a-dozen pilot schools by the beginning of the next academic year.

Those schools were not specified, and a large number of questions surround implementation, licensing, and legal aspects.  Universities are open to the concept, according to Griffin, but are they willing to impose extra student fees?  Additionally, some may be disinclined to pursue Choruss in the wake of widespread industry lawsuits against students, a major hassle for everyone involved.  And of course, rights holders are undoubtedly cautious about the concept, simply because it replaces existing, product-driven approaches with service-oriented, blanketed access.

If history is a guide, that means plenty of debate, delays, chest-pounding and lawsuits, the perfect ingredients for a torpedoed initiative.  Those are probably expected hurdles for Griffin, though the Warner Music Group advisor has already been splashed with heavy criticism, even as the concept takes shape.  “What we’re trying to do is make sure we don’t have another decade of nitpicking because this business won’t survive,” Griffin warned.