Re: What happens if no-one pays for music?
Yes, and if musicians could pay their rent with the fact that they had 20,000 hits on YouTube, this debate would be moot.
Originally Posted by MandoWill
Thanks, Sausage, for the link to the article. I went on to read the original two articles that it was summarizing. It is a complicated issue, but I have to say that I am landing on the side of artists' rights. These articles have made me more aware of how I listen to music and what I do / don't pay for.
Legitimate online vendors DO pay the musicians (albeit not very much). And I think there's a place for free listening sites to expose people to a variety of music...then providing links to purchase is both convenient and benefits the artist. I don't think we'll be able to totally contain piracy, but there are ways to curb it.
Education is a start -- the rocker/professor who wrote the manifesto about artists' rights makes a point of saying that this generation of downloaders are also the people who will spend a little extra to buy free trade coffee, clothes that are not made in a sweatshop, and other cruelty-free products and have led the charge in many positive social changes-- but somehow aren't alert to the issue of artists' rights. And he invites the NPR intern to join him in spreading that info.
But I don't think education alone will do it... until there is pressure on the businesses that profit from the piracy, and some regulation put in place, the artists will continue to be ripped off.
It's interesting to watch how the changes happen. In the 1990's a few artists -- in particular Ani DiFranco comes to mind -- decided that competing for contracts with major record labels was not worth it-- that the record label businesses were corrupt and exploitative at worst or tie them to contractual obligations and limit creativity at best. She took a courageous leap and self produced her own work, promoted herself using the new Internet as her forum. She decided she could do her work, her way, and keep the proceeds. It worked. And it opened the door for a huge surge in independent artists and labels. She used the technology to forge her own way.
Of course the technology has changed hugely. It will be interesting to see who finds a way around the current exploitative system, and what that way turns out to be.
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