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Fileshare and illegally download now!
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IanB
IanB
6762 posts

Edited Nov 21, 2009, 15:22
Re: Fileshare and illegally download now!
Nov 21, 2009, 11:28
Robot Emperor wrote:
The main risk to music is that kids, in many cases, do not care about music in the same way that I did and do. This in part may have something to do with the ease of ownership. Raging about this is all well and good but a complete waste of time. This law was drafted by Canute and stands the same chance of success. If it does have an effect it may sever even more the link between music and the populace.


I totally get the idea that some of the people who take music for free without the artists' and / or copyright owner's permission are the same people who keep the music economy afloat. There is some truth in that. And we all have access to a much wider range of music. No harm in that either. All to the good. Widens the culture etc etc

However the main risk to recorded music is the sense of entitlement among people who feel that if they can't afford it or (worse still) don't want to afford it then they should have it for free right here right now. There has to be a distinction between those who use the net as a listening station to determine what they want to buy and those who just plunder it for whatever they feel they have a right to purloin.

That sense of entitlement is rife amongst those for whom music is just another commodity. As rife as those people who think it is ok to walk away from say credit card debt or utility bills.

And even if there was some truth in the misconception that artists make it up on the live side what about the songwriters and producers? How do they get paid when BMI only distirbute royalties to songwriters whose works are performed in the top 200 grossing tours each year? What about the artists who are too old or too infirm to go on the road? What about the partners and children of deceased artists whose estate income keeps a roof over their heads?

And no one has managed to explain how studios, mastering rooms, equipment and instrument manufacturers, software developers etc are supposed to stay in business and employ staff in a largely "free use" music economy? Why would anyone invest in say an orchestral recording?

The music industry will of course survive (sorry if that disappoints anyone) but inevitably we are all going to end up paying a lot more to our ISPs for internet access that includes the ability to download. The people that don't steal every chance they get will end up paying for those who do. Just like the credit card defaulters in fact.

Worse still, among academics with a left leaning libertarian point of view, there seems to be a notion at work that self published author, the home studio recording artist, the artist with no gallery representation, the film maker with one camera and desk top editing are all somehow more noble and more valuable regardless of their output because they are not operating at a level where the market has a chance to influence their work (for better or for worse).

This is clearly insupportable and I would argue long and hard that the market is the best cultural filter we have. It may not be the barometer of what will be lasting and essential to our children's great grand children but, in terms of our place and our time, there is a determinism at work within the art market that is valuable in 99% of cases.

I cannot believe that we leave too many great recording artists or writers behind and I am sure that 99% of the cases where we miss a genius those men and women lacked the basic psychic strength to deal with any kind of public exposure or assessment of their work. It was never going to happen for them. In the same way that there are no genius central midfielders plying their trade on park pitches. They never had what it would take to get off the park pitch, out of the bedroom studio etc. And of course the one thing the radicals hate to hear is that work ethic counts for anything.

You want to preserve the arts as a vibrant forward moving force then you have to perserve the art market as a generator of profits - warts / Cowells and all - because, regardless of what artists produce, they are all using the same tools, they are all travelling the same roads to the same destination - a paying audience.

Also keep in mind that even before 1996 the small minority of people who bought 6 cds a year or more were considered to be heavy music users. What has fucked the dog on this one is the loss of 2 - 3 cds a year man or woman to the lure of illegal downloading not the "heads" for whom music is all consuming. How the people who inhabit this forum behave or do not behave is no barmoeter of the wider world where the theft of mainstream music is absolutely rife. And like it or not it was the sales of all that mainstream music that made it possible for larger labels to invest in riskier ventures. That's how it supported the 95/5 imbalance between unprofitable and profitable releaes.

What price a Nonesuch or an Impulse rising from the ashes today?
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