Monday, September 29, 2008

The Only Limits We Set (What Can We Get Away With?)

Call me old-fashioned, but I fondly remember a time when people paid bands for the music they made. All in all, it was a pretty reasonable deal. Musicians wrote a bunch a songs; went into a recording studio, put it all down on tape, and the tracks were then mixed and mastered and printed onto LPs, cassettes, and CDs by record companies--who then made sure that these recordings found their way into record stores and were reviewed in magazines, played on the radio and/or music video shows; and often supported the band as they toured in support of the recording. The fan would hear the song/see the video/go to the show and then head off to the record store to purchase a copy of the LP, cassette, or CD for their own personal enjoyment. And some musicians could actually make an okay, even decent, living off of being a musician.

Sure there were problems with this arrangement. For example, CDs were way overpriced (considering they cost only a few dollars to manufacture--much less if you are printing them in massive quantities); some labels hacked away at their artists' royalties by nickeling and diming them to death; indie bands and labels had great difficulty getting their releases distributed; and forget getting your record played on commercial radio without some form of payola. The list of legitimate gripes was long and sordid. I should know, I was part of the music industry for a decade and saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. (For the record, Moon should be filed under 'good.')

But when you distilled it all down to its essence, music fans paid bands to own a recorded copy of their music.

[Yes, back in the day, some people would make a couple of cassette or CD copies of an album for their friends--copyright law actually makes allowances for you to make a few copies of an album you've bought to give, not sell, to your buds--but nowadays any idiot can rip a CD and put a perfect digital copy on the web for potentially millions of strangers to download without any of them paying a penny to the band/label. This is very different from making a copy just for your friend and it is illegal.]

After all, one of the cornerstones of a capitalistic society like ours is that whenever someone creates something unique to sell in the marketplace, he or she is protected by a copyright that gives them ownership and complete control of their creation. This allows them to license or manufacture and sell authorized copies of their original idea--and go after those who create pirated or bootleg versions of something they own.

So, what changed this basic equation? The brave new world of the internet didn't void all copyright laws--it just made it easier to cheat the musician (and in many cases, their record label--well, what's left of them) out of the money that they're due. It's that simple.

Whenever someone rips a CD and uploads it on the internet via some file sharing site like Rapidshare (making it possible for thousands, hundreds of thousands, or potentially millions of people anywhere in the world, to download a copy of an album for free), he/she is a) violating the band's copyright and, b) denying them income that could help them continue to function as musicians and produce more music that he/she supposedly likes and wants.

I could go on about how musicians have bills to pay like the rest of us (you know, rent, food, gas, health insurance--the basics) and how music file sharing can be particularly devastating for bands involved with small, underground music scenes, like ska's, which have limited numbers of potential album buyers to begin with, but you get the gist of my argument.

So don't be an ass. Do the right thing (legally, ethically, and morally) and buy a band's album from iTunes or their CD from their website or head to your local indie record store and maybe even accidentally come across some other albums that you didn't even know you wanted...

42 comments:

felisarocs said...

These time are a changin'

I have a 2000 vinyl collection 600 cds etc
but you and I both know that the record industry robbed artist for years, stole their publishing and wanted way too many albums on their side of the deal.

KARMA 'S a bitch.

Speaking of cds. Two or three dollars to make and we paid 20 bucks.

They were given the opportunity of a lifetime and because of GREED DIDN'T take the deal of a lifetime (Napster)

OPPS

"We couldn't find a technologist" ??????

His name was Shawn Flanning.

Now its too late to turn back the hands of time.

BUT its not too late to produce concept albums and get back to our roots.

Its called Artist development and marketing.

NOT making bands UP shoving it down consumers throats and thinking we are gonna love it forever.

Sorry I'm much brighter than that.

Its called the Internet.

Its how bands will make money in the future.

PS Stop suing the bands fans and audience

Jon (ReggaeFire) said...

It's all well and good to attack the "evil Capitalist record executive", but let's be honest. If you're reading this blog then chances are the vast majority of the music you own and listen to was made by independent artists and labels. Those bands didn't sit there one day and say, hey, let's swindle all those people who listen to us and go to our shows! People who steal (and more importantly, those who provide even easier access to stolen material (Marco on the Bass, et. al I'm looking at you), are the ones who are forcing their personal morals and beliefs upon others, and directly robbing them of their livelihood.

ReadJunk said...

I think there is pro and cons to downloading music illegally. Prob. half the bands I listen to now was because of finding their stuff online somewhere. Besides, I would have gotten the music for free anyway haha. And I'd rather support the band by buying band merch (non-CDs) and going to their shows. Or if it was a band from Europe and I couldn't get their music online, then i'd buy their CD at their site or at their shows. No offense but i'm sick of labels and try to avoid giving them money as much as possible. I'd rather give it to the band. Plus, I review and post news on a lot of bands, so I think i'm doing my part to help those bands. Sure, I'm a rare case but I can see where you might be mad at others for downloading. I don't know, things are different now and I think for the better. there's a million different types of things that are great marketing tools like myspace, etc. that will help get bands to their shows, buy their merch. i think it balances out in the end.

Glen said...

A lot of bands are making the comment that they are forced to tour extensively because they can't make money from recordings. I know this will take its toll, but to me there are positives to that - I have actually had the chance to see bands I would not have had they not had to rely on touring. I spend most of my money going to gigs because the live performance is everything for me. And on top of that, I am most likely to pick up a CD or vinyl (especially) from the touring band at their gig. So things have shifted in multiple ways.

Hopefully they shift some more so Australia is a viable option and I don't have to spend thousands of dollars again to get closer to the action.

Having said all that, I don't download illegal stuff very often and it annoys me knowing that many who do never get out to gigs anyway.

Adam Coozer said...

I've never stolen a song in my life, but I'm all for other people doing it. I don't think bands should make money at all.

Think about it - no band can make money, so only the most dedicated musicians make music for the love of it.

In addition, their new work ethic (since they'll need day jobs) will only make the quality of the music better.

Money ruins art. Let the artists suffer and the art will improve.

Steve from Moon said...

Felisarocs: Thanks for your comments. Yes, the major labels screwed over many bands and their fans--and they took way too long to embrace selling digital downloads of music. (And for out-of-print titles that they don't want to bother reissuing on CD or vinyl, why don't they at least throw them up on iTunes to make them available to those people who want them?) I also love how the internet has empowered bands by giving them much greater control of their own marketing and how they connect with their fans (has this always led to an increase in sales...I don't think so). But I think the main thrust of my posting stands: sharing music files is illegal, and wrong, and prevents bands from earning the money due them. It's essentially a form of stealing. You break the law by file-sharing, you should expect to be threatened with legal action...

Steve from Moon said...

Jon/reggaefire: Thanks for your feedback. Right on! Music file sharing really hurts indie bands and labels, where the sales of a few thousand (even a few hundred) CDs can make a huge difference as to whether or not they can keep doing what they do...

Steve from Moon said...

ReadJunk: Thanks for your thoughts. While I can't think of any situation where I would approve of the illegal downloading of music, I think more bands/labels should make a track or two (even live, remixed, or rare material) available to download for free as a means to promote a band's release and encourage its sales. The internet is an extraordinary marketing tool for the music industry, but one that so many labels and bands have resisted (with good reason) because of the Pandora's Box that is file sharing. For instance, I've listened to tons of song samples on iTunes, which have allowed me to check out an album and if I liked what I heard, I usually tracked down and bought the CD. (I don't buy a lot on iTunes, I prefer to have the actual CD and album artwork...)

Steve from Moon said...

Glen: Your comments are appreciated! From my experiences at Moon Records back in the 90s, I can tell you that for most indie bands, the only way to make money and successfully promote an album is to tour like mad. That's what we always told our bands (and the sales of CDs for bands that hit the road were always significantly better than those who stayed at home). So, in many respects, I think not much has changed from then (pre-internet dayz) to now. Getting a great band in front of a live audience will always sell CDs (I can almost guarantee that anytime I've seen a new band that's put on a great live show, I'll always pick up their album at their merch table).

Steve from Moon said...

Adam: Contrary as always! Thanks, I guess, for your feedback...

(Everyone should check out Adam's blog, the Coozer Files, which collects strange stories being reported in the news...)

Jeremy Toaster said...

Thank you finally Steve, for making this post. I know we have talked about this in length before and both have heated opinions on it. I as well have about 1500+ cds, about 500 7inches, 500+ tapes, 500+ LPs and about 6 8-tracks :) and yes, I still buy more and more of these every day. I also buy from iTunes and eMusic and I bought quite a few albums from 7Wonders Of The World as well, that is the only place I could ever find the H.P. Setter album! (Thanks Steve!).

Being both in bands and running a record label and working for my favorite band ever, I have become somewhat of an internet watchdog. I am constantly emailing Torrent sites and Blogger/Blogspot/BlogBlogBlog sites to remove certain bands content that they have no legal right to distribute in any form.
I see and know the sales of certain albums personally, and I know where in the world these cds are mailed to and who is paying to download them, and I know that if these "file storage" sites and Google hosted Blog sites, weren't allowing people to post and host and link to material they have no ownership right in, I know that our sales would probably double, which means (contrary to Adam's belief) that, these bands would make more money, which would mean they wouldn't have to keep a day job, which in turn allows them more free time to make good music. You think Hendrix and Morrison were flipping burgers during the week and crunching out tunes in their "spare time"?

I just find it very hard to believe that some people claim to love certain bands and "support" them, yet they feel it's ok to "support" people getting all their music for free? I doubt a single person here, would continue to go to their job everyday, day in and day out, if they money they made, was given to some guy that just sits at their work and does nothing. You do the hard work, he gets the money. I mean come on, it would just make you work harder right? Do your job more efficient, you would end up being a genius because your desire to better yourself your skills and your mind would skyrocket not having to worry about that GREEN, because you are working for free...

In many areas of the world other than music, the environment, other people's artwork, buildings, parks, fields of grass and personal property...people just don't respect one another, they are only interested in what makes them happy, even if it means backing into your car, spray painting your building, throwing trash on your public park...

Don't pick your nose and don't steal music, two things your 5 year old should know!

Brendan said...

Great post! It would be great if bands could spend less time selling T shirts and more time making music. what the hell happened to actually going to the record store, flipping through all the records, or CDs, and finding new stuff? Oh, yeah, all the local ones closed down..

Jon said...

I'll just come out and say it. If you're against stealing music, take MarcoOnTheBass off your blogroll. He is illegally distributing in-print music through his blog. That's what he uses it for.

Steve from Moon said...

Jeremy:

Thanks for feedback! It's really important to have an indie record label point of view represented in this discussion. And it really sucks to hear how just much illegal music downloading is cutting into the sales of Megalith's bands' CDs. Keep up the good fight. Plus your words about how little respect we all have for each other in our day-to-day behavior is sad but true. We've lost a sense that we're all part of a larger community and need to care about what we do and how we act toward one another.

And thanks for the 7 Wonders of the World shout out! That H.P. Setter release is amazing and I was so proud to be able to offer it on the site (and thanks for supporting 7WOW!). If I had the money (anyone out there have some money to back me?) and time, I would revive the label, because it worked and the bands were paid (we split every sale 50-50, so if someone bought an album for $10, the band was paid $5 and the label got the other half--all of the label's expenses came out of that $5).

Lastly, you should know that Adam is just yanking everyone's chain. He doesn't mean what he is saying. It's just how he is.

Steve from Moon said...

Brendan:

Thanks for your comments, they are on the money. I miss my local indie record stores, too. So many have closed down in NYC over the past five years.

One of my stupid fantasies is to buy a big old ice cream truck (the type you can stand inside) and turn it into a mobile record store that would pull over and sell ska and reggae CDs and LPs to people walking along the sidewalks of NYC>

Steve from Moon said...

Jon:

Thanks for calling me on the Marco on the Bass link. You are absolutely right. Before I remove him, I'm going to send him an e-mail asking him to stop linking to all of those illegal download sites. He's written some really good posts on obscure and not-so-obscure ska and reggae bands from the late 70s/early 80s--but, truth be told, I've always been really uncomfortable with the links to the illegal music downloads. I should have said something to him about this before now... Thanks for giving me the impetus to do so.

Jeremy Toaster said...

I am perfectly aware of AdamOnKey..AdaMonkey...aDamonKey...ADAMoNKey.... :)

Jeremy Toaster said...

Oh, thanks for the Ice Cream truck idea, I'm totally stealing that! nuk nuk nuk....

Actually, I want to build a soundsystem truck, with speakers lined in the bed of the truck, with hydraulics that make them lift up and point out the sides, and roll that thing bumpin' the classic reggae beats, down through the middle of OU Campus on game days! Booyah!

ReadJunk said...

what do you guys feel about streaming music players on sites (ie. stereogum.com)? I wanted to put something like that on the new ReadJunk.com featuring 1 song from bands' new albums. a readjunk mix if you will. obviously i'll get band/label permission before hand. i just think it's a great way to promote the bands and go for site traffic too. only thing is can't figure out a way for people to not download it because they can see it in the source code. thoughts?

Jeremy Toaster said...

There are was to mask that Stream, look around at a few different options. I'll see what I can send your way as well. But I think "streaming" is perfectly ok, for the most part. If you can "stream" like a radio show and prevent users from stealing the stream, chopping it up into pieces and getting the songs, then by all means, that's radio promotion!
But there are a lot of "podcasts" that are just albums and songs back to back that are %100 downloaded and easily broken apart with free software and little to no skill involved.
Rich Vardaro just started working at http://www.bigupradio.com/ to beef up their ska section, I'll ask him what exactly they are using to stream as well. I'm pretty sure his stuff IS NOT downloadable...

Steve from Moon said...

ReadJunk/Jeremy: Thanks for your comments (and the questions and answers). With what little technical knowledge I have, it's my understanding that streaming audio does not download a file on the listener's computer, rather it functions in a similiar manner as a radio, allowing someone to listen to a song.

The best way to promote music is to provide a means for people to hear it, so if you (ReadJunk) can work it out so people hear the music without being able to download a perfect digital copy (unless the bands have agreed to do this as a promotional giveaway, which isn't a bad thing to do at all), you're providing a great service for both the bands and the fans. I hope Jeremy can help point you in the right direction/find a solution for you!

Steve from Moon said...

Jeremy:

Maybe my idea for a record store on wheels is more like a hot dog truck--or a bookmobile. I'd alter the engine so it could run on the waste cooking oil from fast food joints and travel this great land, bringing ska and reggae to kids everywhere...

Can't imagine how it would pay my family's bills, but it would be fun...

Rob said...

it's true to say that napster and comparable P2P networks did more than anything (except maybe SONY) to destroy indie distro, and therefore, the majority of the livelihood of indie musicians. back catalogue sales fell off a cliff once napster kicked in.

if it were a conspiracy it couldn't have functioned any better in that purpose

i'm on 150 shows a year to pay the bills - but what's new

cheers
buck

Steve from Moon said...

Buck:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with music file stealing, um, I mean "sharing" and its devastating impact on indie labels and bands. It's always good to have the musician's point of view represented in this discussion.

Apart from speaking out against it (explaining that it is illegal, hurts musicians by denying them income that allows them to keep on making music, and is simply wrong) and threatening/taking legal action against file sharing sites, what more do you think can be done to reverse this trend?

I think the new popularity of vinyl is a very interesting trend (one that can help cut down on music file sharing)--a rejection of all things digital for something tangible with artwork that can't be erased. Last Saturday, I picked up the great new Pretenders LP at a record store(!), which was packaged as two 10" records--plus they included a CD of the album as a freebie! You can't do anything nearly as cool as this with a digital file. It is a brilliant marketing strategy on the label's part, as it really appealed to the dorky collector in me (and there are lots of us out there, as sad as that may be).

In the last six months, I've also bought LPs from record stores that have either included info on how to obtain a free digital download of the album (Fleshtones) or have enclosed a free copy of the CD with the LP (Foxboro Hottubs aka Green Day).

Anonymous said...

That's a good point to bring up the vinyl. I liked Marco's blog and others like it primarily because it gave background on all the more obscuro stuff which I cannot buy because scarity prohibits it (ie the hundred+ Pama Trojan '69-74 LP rips I'll never touch/ see/ hear because if they go, its for upwards $300 online auctionsites).

At the same time, I've probably spent thousands on music collecting over the years, (BT included) and it does burn me when I see a record or import CD I paid a lot for just straight up given away, cause some blogger deemed it should be.

Jeremy Toaster said...

Steve I am fucking pissed off at the moment...seriously, this shit is getting out of hand. I have emailed 4 blogger.com sites this morning, all hosting TONS of links to free albums, mostly on the zShare website. I don't want to post the links to these blogs here, cause the less traffic to them the better.
One blog even had the brand new Deal's Gone Bad cd we put out and the Royal Roost digital only album we put out. WTFIU? And Google makes it EXTREMELY hard and discouraging to get these blogs shut down.

http://www.google.com/blogger_dmca.html

There read what you have to do, and they make a big point to point out that, if you are wrong is stating you own something and you don't then it will cost you $$$ in damages. Yet you don't have to prove ANYTHING to post a link to an album you don't have any rights to.
AAAARRHHHHHGGG! Seriously I'm so angry today.

I just need to search out these people personally and show up at their door and smash their computers. Bloody hell what a way to start your day, seeing that your paycheck is less than it should be, because your product is being stolen left and right and you can't make a profit on it...

Steve from Moon said...

Anonymous:

Thanks for your two cents. The demand for rare and out-of-print releases does give the music file sharing banditos an excuse for their actions (the song/album is not available, so I'm doing some sort of service to the public, blah, blah).

It seems like the best way to head all this off is for labels and bands to at least re-release these tracks and albums as digital downloads that can be purchased legitimately (and then they don't have to go to the bother and expense of reprinting, storing, and shipping these LPs and CDs)...though I have a long list of albums that I'd like to see in print again...

Steve from Moon said...

Jeremy:

Step back from the ledge!

You absolutely have every right to be upset. Perhaps their is some sort of indie label effort to combat all of the illegal music file sharing out there that Megalith could join? If there isn't already something in place, maybe Megalith should start one to get all of the indie labels to band together to lobby Google and others to start policing sites for illegal file sharing... It's not like there are any laws in dispute here. They should be worried about facilitating illegal behavior through their services, right?

The other way to fight all this is to start changing people's behavior (the technical term is social marketing)--they need be aware that music file sharing is illegal and seriously damaging the music scene. If you get an industry group together, an anti-file sharing marketing campaign would be a key component in all this...

Hang in there, man!

And the rest of us music fans need to continue supporting our favorite bands and their labels by buying CDs, LPs, and authorized digital downloads!

Jeremy Toaster said...

http://toneandwave.blogspot.com/2008/10/tone-and-wave-is-coming-to-end.html

Read this post! Sometimes just an email does work. Yet I guess I get some backlash for it as well.

One guy says he supports ska music, but since I said do give our stuff away, he's going to make sure not to buy our stuff now! Where's the logic in that???

Jeremy Toaster said...

"but since I said DON'T give our stuff away..."

sorry, it's early...

Steve from Moon said...

Jeremy:

It's good to see that Tone and Wave could see the light, though I hope he figures out a way to keep writing about ska music and the scene...

As for the guy who won't support Megalith if you clampdown on illegal file sharing, well, it doesn't seem like he is going to support the label either way (by refraining from illegally downloading your recordings or actually buying CDs or digital downloads), so no love is lost there...

I posted a comment on the Tone and Wave site, which you may want to check out... The best way to combat all the illegal file sharing is to change people's behavior (as well as threaten legal action!). So we gotta speak out against it.

Cheers,

Steve from Moon

racer said...

Steve & Jeremy, I think you both missed the point I was trying to make over at Tone&Wave. Just btw, I have over 3000 CD's myself, and I haven't bothered counting my vinyl since my turntable packed up a few years ago. And yes, I spend all my disposable income on music.

I also understand your anxiety about your music being distributed free of charge (and illegally) on the internet and would never diss you for writing to a site owner to ask for takedown.

But that's where my agreement with you guys stops. Use of the words "thief" and "stealing" are generalisations which kinda upset people like me who only use these blogs to educate ourselves and buy the music anyway. My comment about "boycotting" (although I didn't use the word boycott) Megalith was a knee jerk reaction and I retract that. I will keep on buying cds and in fact I have a few Megalith CDs on my purchase list ONLY because I discovered them on Tone & Wave.

So as much as I understand that sharing this music is technically illegal, I also think the record companies should wake up to the fact that there are people like me who actually buy music and use sites like these to continuously discover new music and new artists.

So keep releasing music, and keep monitoring the blogs - and for sure, if there's anything shared that shouldn't be, ask them to take it down. Keep an open and friendly communication with the blog owners and you'll find people will readily comply with your wishes.

But kewl for the dialogue, even though I don't agree with all of your points.

-r

Steve from Moon said...

Racer:

I REALLY appreciate that you took the time to post your comments here--and though I can't speak for Jeremy--the point of my blog posting on music file sharing and comments on Tone & Wave is to spark this kind exchange of opinions.

I do know that there are a fair number of music fans out there who use sites like Tone & Wave to check out new/rare music and then track down and buy the albums and songs that interest them--but there are lots of other people who use similar sites just to obtain albums and songs for free and they have no intention of ever buying the CD or digital download.

For many of the current and recent ska releases, there are many ways to hear samples of songs that you may be unfamiliar with (iTunes, Amazon, a band's MySpace page). I know this doesn't address the issue of long out-of-print titles, but file sharing still isn't a good solution, as it will be abused by those looking to score free music.

I don't know if there is a free and easy application available to sites like Tone & Wave that would let bloggers post sub-digital quality tracks that people could stream, but not download. Something like this would solve a whole mess of problem and make everyone happy...

Again, thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

Later,

Steve from Moon

Steve from Moon said...

Racer:

Just re-read what I wrote. I didn't mean for the third paragraph to sound like it is addressed to you specifically (I'm sure you check out music via bands' MySpace pages, etc.). I just wanted to state for everyone that there are options apart from music file sharing...

Thanks.

Steve

tom said...

Seems like the bone of contention for most people (people who actually do care about the musicians anyway) is that of out of print, non-available downloads.

Your suggestion that these back-catalogues be at least put up on itunes is a decent one (although getting companies to do it would be another story I feel). But what bugs me about itunes and other places is that you can't transfer tracks after a certain number of times. I know that after i've gone through my next 7 computers I'm still going to want to listen to them - why should I have to pay to download them again? Protecting the tracks is only making people search for less legitimate avenues so they can do with the tracks what they want.

Steve from Moon said...

Tom:

Yep, you've got it. It IS really frustrating that the out-of-print stuff isn't available to buy via digital download. The labels and bands really need to step up to the plate about this (they'll make some $$$, make the fans happy, and earn some much needed goodwill).

Give the people what they want!

Thanks.

Steve

Adam Coozer said...

I think I raised an interesting and valid line of thought. Isn't art better when it's not connected to money? Isn't it more genius when it comes out of suffering?

(The exception, of course, being Rush, who are always genius.)

People should support their favorite bands by making it more difficult for said bands to exist. The best wine comes from grapes that have to struggle through poor soil. So should our music.

Steve from Moon said...

Adam:

While "sufferation" and the struggle against Babylon are certainly part of the Rasta, reggae, and punk storyline (which obviously are all intertwined with ska's history and evolution), I don't know if the ska and reggae musicians expect/anticipate that their fans would/should be the ones oppressing them.

Always stirring up the hornet's nest, aren't we? ;-)

Steve from Moon

xRare Album Sharingx said...

Who cares bro...


OMG someone put my CD on the internet for free...


So... If you are relying on CD sales as a means of profit, you're screwing yourself over...


I'm in a band and when people distribute my shit over the net for free, I say, GO FOR IT...


I'd rather be happy that my fans are seeing my band live and fucking moshing/skanking/slam dancing... So you know what I have to say about music downloading, JUST DO IT!!!


I download other band music too and I also buy music on found on the web then share on the web. So what is really hurting music these days, well, shitty ska bands that are touring these days and CDs that are just damn expensive...!

Steve from Moon said...

Rare Album Sharing:

Thanks for your comments. Hey, if your band wants people to share your music without paying you anything for it--good for you. That's your choice.

But what about the bands that don't want their music shared for free? Don't they have a say in what happens to the music they worked so hard to create (according to our legal system, they do...)? Some musicians want to be in a band full-time, so they need to earn some money to pay the bills, etc., so anything that cuts into the money they can earn from CD sales really hurts them financially (and read through all the comments above and see all the reasons why I think file sharing is bad for music in general).

To me, it seems like many of the 'fans' who are happy to download music for free don't really give a damn about the music and bands they claim to like. They just want to selfishly grab all they can for nothing, while spouting all sorts of self-justifying, crap excuses. Just because you can't afford/don't want to buy something doesn't mean it's okay to steal it outright.

Sorry, that's just how I see it...

Steve

xRare Album Sharingx said...

Ya know Steve, if CD sales are not doing well, there should be another avenue to make profit and to make ends meet. The problem with the music industry (even indie) is that some are not able to admit that digital downloads (illegal) are going to be inevitable. To me, for you to consistently chase after people uploading their stuff on the web, it's just wasting time on your part and it does not get anything done. In fact, I saw a bunch of blog and torrent sites from Mexico that was sharing some Deal's Gone Bad albums. Do you think it's practical to go after those sites when they're in Mexico. I mean let's think about jurisdiction here...


Anyhow, I can respect your feelings about this, but as a businessperson, if one avenue is not working, you gotta try another one. Piracy is everywhere... Porn, Video Games, Movies, Books, Music, and other means of digital media. It kind of makes you the bad guy for trying to go after people for uploading your music...

Steve from Moon said...

Rare Album Sharing:

Thanks. I hear and completely appreciate what you are saying. As you know, in the late 90s and early 00s, the music industry (majors and indies) really were pathetically slow to embrace selling digital downloads--fighting everything the music fans were ready to embrace, leading to the mess we are in right now.

And I completely realize that file sharing has long been the accepted new model (and that I am, if you will forgive the mixed metaphor, a lone voice pissing into the wind).

So where do we go from here? What should bands do--the Radiohead model: release it for free and let the people decide if and how much they want to pay for the digital release? Do they put out LPs, so people have to take one more step before music can be uploaded to the web?

Thanks.

Steve