Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

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Edited Nov 22, 2009, 12:57
Re: Fileshare and illegally download now!
Nov 22, 2009, 09:19
Popel Vooje wrote:
IanB wrote:
mingtp wrote:
IanB wrote:
Do we have any left-leaning libertarian academics on this board? That would fun.

Er.. hello.

Hello yourself.

Surely you don't mean Cope? He wants to get paid like everyone else. Otherwise why the constant monetisation of old catalogue and the eking out of archive material? No, that doesn't fit at all. He's better than that. He has a family. He knows what it means to need to get paid for what you create and what you own. A few hours of busking doth not a revolutionary solcialist make.

Yes, I do mean Cope. And no one said he was a revolutionary socialist.

He is indisputably a left-leaning, libertarian academic, though - there is a vast difference between the two terms. Hell. I'd class myself as a left-leaning libertarian , but that doesn't mean I'm going to give all my posessions away.

As for repackaging the back catalogue, Julian has no control over that. The only music he owns the rights to is the stuff he's released himself through Head Heritage. Phonogram and Island can do whever they like with his back catalogue, irrespective of whether he approves or not.

Yes, he's a practical man and he wants / needs to get paid, but he's also a rarity among rock stars in that he doesn't believe in ripping off his fans. He's given interviews before in which he's advised fanms not to buy that el cheapo "The Collection" CD by the Teardrop Explodes that Phongram released, and that "Followers Of St. Julian" comp that Island put out.

He also agreed to take on all the money owed by the Teardrop Explodes just because he didn't want to tarnish their legacy by releasing a shitty third album. Those don't sound like the actions of a man who values money over artistic integrity.

Given that both his daughters went to Marlborough, I'd be willing to bet that either he or Dorian have a private/inherited fund they can dip into if times get hard. So the description does fit. Like a glove, in fact.

Well I would probably class myself as left-leaning (if I have to pick) with some pronounced libertarian tendancies.

Speaking as someone who has made his living in music since 1981 what I resent (and of course there is self interest in here) about the half-baked bleatings of Lessig and co is the idea that they (from their ivory towers) get to determine what kinds of work are worthy of protection.

Worse still they suggest that because music (and other art) can be made at home there is little or no cost attached to that creativity. The same as the fan who looks at a £15 cd and £1.50 royalty and says "rip off". Not seeing the cost of the VAT, publishing, the manufacturing, the huge discounts demanded by retail, the cost of retail itself, distribution, pr, marketing etc etc.

I would lay money that Lessig hates rock n roll and comes at this knowing that the music he loves will be protected. He's never going to have to worry about the Lincoln Center or the South Bank closing down. I am always going to be concerned when academics from both extremes of the spectrum are so far out on a given subject that they join hands.

Anyway the solution to a partly unfair business model is not to blow the whole thing up and go to a record biz year zero. Why? Because other than what the Arts Council deems worthy of support there isn't an alternative universe where artists who can't get paid for their work (but whose work is being consumed by the thousands) can still get paid. Not to mention all the support industries.

As for Cope I was not saying that he values money over art and I was not talking about the Teardrops catalogue either. I was saying he wants to get paid for his performances and recordings. Just that. He puts out releaes (old music and new music) and wants to be paid for them. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

In many ways his is the most sensible and sustainable business model for someone who used to be a rock star and still has something to say and an audience of passionate listeners to carry with him. The arhival releases are not over priced, the new releases are beautifully packaged. He knows what it is to be a fan and so his audience get treated respectfully.

My argument is not with what Cope does but with how his shtick gets represented as something politically "other". I don't think he is a revolutionary in any tangible sense, in fact his writings these past three years actually seem to express a deal of social conservatism, but there are people who see the drums and flags and believe that it all means what it says it means. When it is really all so much "Sandinista" or TRB. Honestly made but there is no call to arms. It's a work of art AND a product AND a call to thought. If he is sending his kids to private school then that just reinforces my belief. And if he can afford it and he thinks that it is what is best for his kids then I have no problem with that. I don't ask artists to live their work. I ask the people who consume their art to see the difference between the performing/performance artist and the person.

Anyway I cannot imagine you will ever hear people like Roy Harper, Bill Nelson or Cope (all formerly famous, self determining artists with micro labels) say "my music is meant for the world to enjoy - download your hearts out" because those £13s and £15s they get for their new releases and self-owned catalogue are their bread and butter.

The fact that you don't hear many artists arguee the ownership side of the download debate is because they are scared of how uncool it will make them look. Privately you hear a lot more of that side of the argument and then you get people like Spiritualized who deal with the problem of declining revenues by coming up with a £125 per pop limited edition. At least that is honest.

The big lie is that musicians do not get paid so therefore we should feel free to ram raid the music business. The greatest failure of the music industry has been one of lack of imagination and a failure to educate.

And yes I have done my share of downloading, torrenting etc etc but that doesn't mean that I can't see there is a problem. It's not a moral issue it's about the cultural health of our society. I don't want to work and live and consume within a musical culture where orchestras are not available to recording artists and where you will never hear new "big forces" recordings because, short of governmental or corporate patronage, there is no way of paying for them.
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