Stealing Music: Is It Wrong or Isn't It?
This blog is the reason that I hate the internet. It gives people who will take their right to free speech and unabashedly abuse it to sound like special-ed student.
Maybe I don't have a right to talk about this because I work in the industry, for the most part, I get a lot of music for free through promo copies, whether through my company or a friends company. When I was in high school, I downloaded music a little bit, but for the most part any money I got went right towards CDs. Buying music, for me, has always been this special sort of experience. As a teen, I could honestly spend hours in a music store, sifting through each section, pulling things out, taking a listen, reading the music books and just... discovering. Discovering music, is partially what is so great about music in the first place, and the number of albums I have in my collection just from those hours in a music store are limitless.
What the person is saying in this article has a valid point, but the way he's going about justifying it, is so backwards. Do I believe that music should be totally and completely free? No. Whether you want to view it this way or not there were people that put a lot of time and energy into each song that you listen to. Hours in the studio are countless and the perfectionistic tendencies that go in to making an album are insane. YOU get paid to do your job, or you will eventually if you don't have one now, how would you like it if you didn't get paid for your 40 hour work week?
Do I think the labels should get paid as much as they have in the past? Definitely not, these days they are all glorified distribution agencies anyway, hardly even discovering new talent as people are taking it upon themselves to discover music on the internet. If they would have lowered their take on a record/MP3 in the first place, they could have combated this free-music battle a little easier. But the music industry is comprised of selfish people that are used to riding high on the hog, when they're not the ones putting nearly as much time and effort into something as a producer, singer, songwriter, session musicians, mixers, and so on and so forth.
But people lose sight of this, they want to rise up against the man, or in the case of this dense blog writer - think that if a musician can't make it by giving their music away for free then they don't deserve to be making it. Which basically leaves us with mainstream music that's being paid to play on radio stations and MTV anyway. This way of thinking would take away some serious talents in Jazz, classical, indie-rock, and a vastly huge span of genres that people would never get the chance to experience.
It's definitely getting to the point where things are changing, in a massive way. I've heard rumors that UMG wants to stop making actual CDs by 2011, which in the grand scheme of life, is not far off at all. New companies are popping up that are trying to find ways to both promote artists, get them more money, and in the process make money themselves. They do this by helping them release an album but taking a share of their touring and merchandise profit (something I don't entirely trust, since for years, that's been one of the only ways artists could actually make money). But, in the long run, this still doesn't really help everyone who put their work behind making a record. Whether you buy an MP3 or a hard copy, the same amount of creative energy went into making both.
The new Google idea in China seems like the most promising idea I've seen yet. It's giving people the chance to download/stream music for free, but it's ALSO paying the labels and google, who will hopefully, turn around and pay people for the recording so they don't die of starvation (yes, i'm being facetious). How are they getting paid? Well, they're basically using google's brilliant ad-sense to do it. You search for a song via google, get their ads in the process, find your song and go on your merry way. Google makes massive amounts off of their ads and at the moment there's word that they're paying the record companies 50% of their ad profits through these searches.
That would be a massive amount of money, in google world, and I think it's this way of thinking that works.
I'm always interested in buying the real cd, with the thank yous and the liner notes, but I've come to learn that maybe I'm old fashion. I share my music files, I LOVE turning people on to music that I love, I love sharing it because it's such a big part of me. But I always feel bad, because I love these artists and I want them to get paid for doing what they do, and I can't understand the people that don't agree with that.
If you want to listen to a music file, you should be paying for it, in some way, shape, or form. People just aren't interested in doing that but these are the same people that would probably throw a shit fit if they didn't get their bi-weekly paycheck.
You can get music for so cheap these days, seriously, I'm not rich and I still buy music. If I didn't get a lot of it for free, I'd still find a way, like I did in Nashville when I had virtually nothing. Then again, I'm a music person, so I guess that makes sense for me. I live and die music. Other people just have this sense of entitlement with it, and I think that's because they don't know what goes in to it. Even the most simple of songs takes a great deal of time to make so that you can listen to it. We have to stop thinking about this in terms of record companies and start thinking in terms of artists. Artists need to take it upon themselves to figure out how to make money as well.
But Google seems to be on the right track.