Music Industry Booming

by on January 26, 2007 · 30 comments

Via Mike, here’s an L.A. Times article on the thriving music industry. No, not the one represented by the RIAA, the other one:

While the U.S. recording industry continues to slide under pressure from illegal downloaders and file-sharers, the other side of the music world–businesses catering to those who create the music–has nearly doubled over the last decade to become a $7.5-billion industry. The key difference in their contrasting fortunes is a simple physical reality: You can’t download a tuba. But new technology has also been a boon: Digital home recording has played a large role in the industry’s growth and helped a new generation of hobbyist music-makers move out of the garage and onto the Internet.

As I’ve argued before, I think people overestimate the role of piracy in the long-term decline of the music industry. The fundamental problem is that their core competence–pressing and shipping little plastic disks around the country–is becoming increasingly obsolete. It’s true that piracy is accelerating their decline, but the decline would happen regardless, as musicians increasingly discover they don’t need to ship plastic disks around the country in order to get music to their fans.

But I think this illustrates the silliness of the thesis that the music industry is dying, from two perspectives. First, there’s the article’s main point that only some segments of the music industry are hurting, and those gains are largely being made up elsewhere. This suggests that there’s little reason for the average musician to be fearful–as music becomes more popular, there there will continue to be plenty of opportunities for teaching music lessons, giving live performances, etc.

But more fundamentally, I think this is a pretty powerful counter to the notion that musicians need to be paid to ensure we continue to have good music. The vast majority of the people purchasing musical instruments never intend to make a living at it. Many others hope they’ll be able to make a living at it, but realize full well that their odds are long. Yet millions of people still spend billions of dollars training to become better musicians. It’s awfully hard to see how strong copyright protection could explain this. More likely, most people make music because they enjoy making music. And they’ll continue doing so regardless of how copyright law is changed.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    The level at which piracy has decreased music industry revenues is greater than the overall revenue decline in the music industry. Your downplay of piracy as inevitable doesn’t address the numbers.

    You conflate different indusries; implying that the death of the music profession is offset by sales in instruments and music lessons, and thus the *music industry* survives.

    ***millions of people still spend billions of dollars training to become better musicians. It’s awfully hard to see how strong copyright protection could explain this.***

    Ummm. Copyright allows musicians to recoup their investments and risks. Copyright law however does not explain all activities surrounding the making of music. Here, as you often do, you try to pin down a direct 1-1 causal effect (between copyright policy and music production). Such an all or nothing approach isn’t very productive in serious policy discourse.

    ***most people make music because they enjoy making music.***

    Well, this comments actually refutes your whole argument. If current musicians made music simply because they enjoy it, without profit motive, then why would labels and independent artists be leveraging copyright policy.; the very activities you’re criticizing them for.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    The level at which piracy has decreased music industry revenues is greater than the overall revenue decline in the music industry. Your downplay of piracy as inevitable doesn’t address the numbers.

    You conflate different indusries; implying that the death of the music profession is offset by sales in instruments and music lessons, and thus the *music industry* survives.

    ***millions of people still spend billions of dollars training to become better musicians. It’s awfully hard to see how strong copyright protection could explain this.***

    Ummm. Copyright allows musicians to recoup their investments and risks. Copyright law however does not explain all activities surrounding the making of music. Here, as you often do, you try to pin down a direct 1-1 causal effect (between copyright policy and music production). Such an all or nothing approach isn’t very productive in serious policy discourse.

    ***most people make music because they enjoy making music.***

    Well, this comments actually refutes your whole argument. If current musicians made music simply because they enjoy it, without profit motive, then why would labels and independent artists be leveraging copyright policy.; the very activities you’re criticizing them for.

  • eric

    Noel, exactly how much has unauthorized copying decreased music industry revenues? Revenues are down, but you are singling out one factor – copyright infringement – and blaming that. It seems as if you are the one trying to establish a one-to-one relationship here, attributing all music industry decline to copying/sharing. In reality, you don’t know, and no one knows, exactly. I don’t think anyone knows even approximately.

    “Copyright allows musicians to recoup their investments and risks.” I am not a professional musician, although I did record a theme song for a radio program that was used on-air for several years — but I wasn’t paid for that, so I guess I’m not a professional. To be sure, I don’t have much firsthand experience with the music industry. But the majority of what I read on the net written by people who have been professional musicians, does not lead me to believe that musicians’ investments of time and money are being well-rewarded because of copyright. The major multinational music conglomerates keep most artists working as slaves, and the money they make that keeps them from starvation is mostly from live performances — hardly the result of copyright law. A few artists make it big, and certainly your statement applies to them. What you say is true in theory. In practice, for most artists, I don’t believe it applies.

    Change “musicians” to “multinational corporations” and your statement is self-evidently true. However, copyright was not created to benefit corporations, but to stimulate individual creators. And as the boom in individual amateur music playing proves, the individual does not need that much stimulus to create, if any.

    Do you play music, Noel? I’m not sure you understand the muse, the creative urge. You speak as if it is some sort of left-brain green eyeshade calculation, rather than a right-brain inspiration.

  • eric

    Noel, exactly how much has unauthorized copying decreased music industry revenues? Revenues are down, but you are singling out one factor – copyright infringement – and blaming that. It seems as if you are the one trying to establish a one-to-one relationship here, attributing all music industry decline to copying/sharing. In reality, you don’t know, and no one knows, exactly. I don’t think anyone knows even approximately.

    “Copyright allows musicians to recoup their investments and risks.” I am not a professional musician, although I did record a theme song for a radio program that was used on-air for several years — but I wasn’t paid for that, so I guess I’m not a professional. To be sure, I don’t have much firsthand experience with the music industry. But the majority of what I read on the net written by people who have been professional musicians, does not lead me to believe that musicians’ investments of time and money are being well-rewarded because of copyright. The major multinational music conglomerates keep most artists working as slaves, and the money they make that keeps them from starvation is mostly from live performances — hardly the result of copyright law. A few artists make it big, and certainly your statement applies to them. What you say is true in theory. In practice, for most artists, I don’t believe it applies.

    Change “musicians” to “multinational corporations” and your statement is self-evidently true. However, copyright was not created to benefit corporations, but to stimulate individual creators. And as the boom in individual amateur music playing proves, the individual does not need that much stimulus to create, if any.

    Do you play music, Noel? I’m not sure you understand the muse, the creative urge. You speak as if it is some sort of left-brain green eyeshade calculation, rather than a right-brain inspiration.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Eric, I’m not saying that decline in music revenue is based solely on piracy; rather, the level at which piracy has reduced revenue is greater than the overall decline. I won’t hypothesize what the music industry would look like without piracy, since I know that some positive externalities occur with piracy.

    Several implications can be drawn by music piracy studies I’ve looked at:

    1)whatever positive externalities music firms enjoy with piracy (greater exposure to songs, larger distribution that may have faciilitated sales, ec) are offset by its effects on the bottom line.
    2)with less piracy, music sales would have decreased to a lesser extent.
    3)piracy explains a large part of decline in music industry revenue.

    Eric, you say that many musicians you’re aware of do not leverage copyright in some, well, controversial, ways. I take issue to that. These musicians have made the decision to waive some of their rights under copyright policy. But independent, as well as “labeled” musicians leverage copyright policy in some form; and I will argue that musicians should always have that option.

    Independent and “unsigned” musicians benefit from not leveraging all forms of copyright policy, in order to gain exposure and to push their music to the widest audience. But what happens when they get big though, when offering “tasting” of their work no longer figures that much into their motive.

    Eric, I agree with you that there have been cases where musicians did not feel like they were treated well by their labels, but the fact that a few major labels represent the majority of “popular” musicians (if they were not popular, then consumers would not have a problem with simply buying other artists rather than complaining about the major studios) tells me that many artists find their intersts represented by entities that value current copyright policy.

    Your final statement about MNC’s sounds really innovent (please don’t tell me you went to Oxford or Berkeley:) MNC’s are made up of people, like you and I. I don’t see any point in vilifying them per se.

    On a final note, yes, I play the piano. My composers of choice: Chopin and Rachmaninoff. My favorite selection is the Rubinstein collection of Chopin. On a philosophical point about creativity, I follow more of the tradition of Goethe and Nietzsche where creativity is regarded as the result of demonic impulse rather than the rigid/logical motivations as espoused by Rand.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Eric, I’m not saying that decline in music revenue is based solely on piracy; rather, the level at which piracy has reduced revenue is greater than the overall decline. I won’t hypothesize what the music industry would look like without piracy, since I know that some positive externalities occur with piracy.

    Several implications can be drawn by music piracy studies I’ve looked at:

    1)whatever positive externalities music firms enjoy with piracy (greater exposure to songs, larger distribution that may have faciilitated sales, ec) are offset by its effects on the bottom line.
    2)with less piracy, music sales would have decreased to a lesser extent.
    3)piracy explains a large part of decline in music industry revenue.

    Eric, you say that many musicians you’re aware of do not leverage copyright in some, well, controversial, ways. I take issue to that. These musicians have made the decision to waive some of their rights under copyright policy. But independent, as well as “labeled” musicians leverage copyright policy in some form; and I will argue that musicians should always have that option.

    Independent and “unsigned” musicians benefit from not leveraging all forms of copyright policy, in order to gain exposure and to push their music to the widest audience. But what happens when they get big though, when offering “tasting” of their work no longer figures that much into their motive.

    Eric, I agree with you that there have been cases where musicians did not feel like they were treated well by their labels, but the fact that a few major labels represent the majority of “popular” musicians (if they were not popular, then consumers would not have a problem with simply buying other artists rather than complaining about the major studios) tells me that many artists find their intersts represented by entities that value current copyright policy.

    Your final statement about MNC’s sounds really innovent (please don’t tell me you went to Oxford or Berkeley:) MNC’s are made up of people, like you and I. I don’t see any point in vilifying them per se.

    On a final note, yes, I play the piano. My composers of choice: Chopin and Rachmaninoff. My favorite selection is the Rubinstein collection of Chopin. On a philosophical point about creativity, I follow more of the tradition of Goethe and Nietzsche where creativity is regarded as the result of demonic impulse rather than the rigid/logical motivations as espoused by Rand.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Independent and “unsigned” musicians benefit from not leveraging all forms of copyright policy, in order to gain exposure and to push their music to the widest audience. But what happens when they get big though, when offering “tasting” of their work no longer figures that much into their motive.

    Noel, as Mike Masnick wrote recently, copyright is not a welfare program for musicians. If your position is that copyright isn’t too useful to up-and-coming musicians, but that it’s useful to musicians once they “get big,” then that suggests that copyright is not required to encourage the creation of new music. Because once a musician “gets big,” he or she has lots of other ways to profit from their music. Madonna makes a ton of money from selling copies of her music, but she’d still be pretty wealthy without copyright protection, because (for example) she can give shows that sell out 1000-person venues at $100/ticket.

    The point of copyright isn’t to maximize the wealth of successful musicians. It’s to encourage the creation of new music. That means our focus should be on musicians on the margin–those who aren’t making much money at their craft and so might stop making music. If copyright doesn’t help those musicians very much, then the argument for copyright protection for music is pretty weak.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Independent and “unsigned” musicians benefit from not leveraging all forms of copyright policy, in order to gain exposure and to push their music to the widest audience. But what happens when they get big though, when offering “tasting” of their work no longer figures that much into their motive.

    Noel, as Mike Masnick wrote recently, copyright is not a welfare program for musicians. If your position is that copyright isn’t too useful to up-and-coming musicians, but that it’s useful to musicians once they “get big,” then that suggests that copyright is not required to encourage the creation of new music. Because once a musician “gets big,” he or she has lots of other ways to profit from their music. Madonna makes a ton of money from selling copies of her music, but she’d still be pretty wealthy without copyright protection, because (for example) she can give shows that sell out 1000-person venues at $100/ticket.

    The point of copyright isn’t to maximize the wealth of successful musicians. It’s to encourage the creation of new music. That means our focus should be on musicians on the margin–those who aren’t making much money at their craft and so might stop making music. If copyright doesn’t help those musicians very much, then the argument for copyright protection for music is pretty weak.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14019452 Steve R.

    Piracy is a broad concept, but here is what Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf concluded about downloads: “Downloads have an
    effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
    in their paper “The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales
    An Empirical Analysis”
    . http://www.unc.edu/~cigar/papers/FileSharing_June2005_final.pdf

    It is unfortunate that reporters continue to appease the music industry by throwing in the gratuitous statement “While the U.S. recording industry continues to slide under pressure from illegal downloaders and file-sharers.”

    Eric is correct about the creative muse, we create for the joy of creating and the ability to “give”. It isn’t always about the money.

    In the April 2007 issue of “Analog” Stanley Schmidt had an editorial “Citizen Science” The editorial has nothing to do with copyright, but it does point to the fact that people will volunteer to promote the progress of science without the incentive of getting paid. He also discusses how many early scientists, such as da Vinci, Herschel, Jefferson, and Franklin contributed to the progress of science because of personal interest, not monetary gain.

    Sadly we seem to have descended into hyper-commercialism were there are ever more toll both charges related to the consumer hearing/seeing content. To steal what another poster wrote on another website, “Soon we will have to take an amnesia pill after viewing content, because to retain it in our memory will considered be theft.”

  • http://www2.blogger.com/profile/14380731108416527657 Steve R.

    Piracy is a broad concept, but here is what Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf concluded about downloads: “Downloads have an
    effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
    in their paper “The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales
    An Empirical Analysis”
    . http://www.unc.edu/~cigar/papers/FileSharing_Ju

    It is unfortunate that reporters continue to appease the music industry by throwing in the gratuitous statement “While the U.S. recording industry continues to slide under pressure from illegal downloaders and file-sharers.”

    Eric is correct about the creative muse, we create for the joy of creating and the ability to “give”. It isn’t always about the money.

    In the April 2007 issue of “Analog” Stanley Schmidt had an editorial “Citizen Science” The editorial has nothing to do with copyright, but it does point to the fact that people will volunteer to promote the progress of science without the incentive of getting paid. He also discusses how many early scientists, such as da Vinci, Herschel, Jefferson, and Franklin contributed to the progress of science because of personal interest, not monetary gain.

    Sadly we seem to have descended into hyper-commercialism were there are ever more toll both charges related to the consumer hearing/seeing content. To steal what another poster wrote on another website, “Soon we will have to take an amnesia pill after viewing content, because to retain it in our memory will considered be theft.”

  • Doug Lay

    With all due respect, I believe that we will almost undeniably have more and better music in a world where musicians can make a living playing music. Even if all the best musicians are primarily motivated by love of music, they will be able to spend more time and energy creating music if they don’t have to spend time doing other work in order to feed and shelter themselves and their families.

    The trick is to find new (and old) ways to get musicians paid, in a world where digital storage and transmission costs are plummeting inexorably toward zero. Revenue models based on regulating distribution of individual copies are in *deep* trouble, and all the DRM and bought-and-paid-for copyright laws in the world won’t change that; nor will the RIAA’s increasingly vicious and desperate enforcement tactics.

  • Doug Lay

    With all due respect, I believe that we will almost undeniably have more and better music in a world where musicians can make a living playing music. Even if all the best musicians are primarily motivated by love of music, they will be able to spend more time and energy creating music if they don’t have to spend time doing other work in order to feed and shelter themselves and their families.

    The trick is to find new (and old) ways to get musicians paid, in a world where digital storage and transmission costs are plummeting inexorably toward zero. Revenue models based on regulating distribution of individual copies are in *deep* trouble, and all the DRM and bought-and-paid-for copyright laws in the world won’t change that; nor will the RIAA’s increasingly vicious and desperate enforcement tactics.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim,

    I was stating that up-coming artists may not leverage copyright policy to its full exent b/c they need to get exposre by pushing their work to the widest audience. I think you read my statement to the extreme. I didn’t say they they don’t leverage copyright policy at all, nor did I state that established musicians do not strategically waive leveraging of copyright policy.

    I agree that copyright policy should not be a welafare system, but unless we’re talking about the CTEA or other extension acts, the welfare analogy does not really apply.

    Steve R, I read the same report. Its good work, but there’s a lot of academic research disagreeing with it.

    Doug makes a lot of sense in his post.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Tim,

    I was stating that up-coming artists may not leverage copyright policy to its full exent b/c they need to get exposre by pushing their work to the widest audience. I think you read my statement to the extreme. I didn’t say they they don’t leverage copyright policy at all, nor did I state that established musicians do not strategically waive leveraging of copyright policy.

    I agree that copyright policy should not be a welafare system, but unless we’re talking about the CTEA or other extension acts, the welfare analogy does not really apply.

    Steve R, I read the same report. Its good work, but there’s a lot of academic research disagreeing with it.

    Doug makes a lot of sense in his post.

  • eric

    Noel, thank you for your explanation. While I find many of your responses here at the “Front” (TLF) very difficult to sympathize with, I must say that you possess a most refined musical taste. Anyone who chooses Rubinstein’s Chopin recordings as their favorite clearly has his musical head screwed on straight. His technique is wonderful, without losing the emotion and playfulness that make listening a joy.

    I’m a self-taught non-music-reading guitarist myself, favoring no particular genre, though most jazz and classical music is beyond my technique. Lately, I favor bossa nova.

    Now to further clarify, you’ve made this statement twice: “…the level at which piracy has reduced revenue is greater than the overall decline.” Perhaps I’m dense, but I don’t understand. It sounds as if you’re saying that if CD sales declined, say, $1 billion year-over-year, that the toll of piracy is actually even greater than $1 billion dollars. I can see this as a possible interpretation, i.e. without piracy, perhaps CD sales would have increased $1 billion. I don’t find it very probable. Exactly how one would go about establishing this on a preponderance of evidence I don’t know.

  • eric

    Noel, thank you for your explanation. While I find many of your responses here at the “Front” (TLF) very difficult to sympathize with, I must say that you possess a most refined musical taste. Anyone who chooses Rubinstein’s Chopin recordings as their favorite clearly has his musical head screwed on straight. His technique is wonderful, without losing the emotion and playfulness that make listening a joy.

    I’m a self-taught non-music-reading guitarist myself, favoring no particular genre, though most jazz and classical music is beyond my technique. Lately, I favor bossa nova.

    Now to further clarify, you’ve made this statement twice: “…the level at which piracy has reduced revenue is greater than the overall decline.” Perhaps I’m dense, but I don’t understand. It sounds as if you’re saying that if CD sales declined, say, $1 billion year-over-year, that the toll of piracy is actually even greater than $1 billion dollars. I can see this as a possible interpretation, i.e. without piracy, perhaps CD sales would have increased $1 billion. I don’t find it very probable. Exactly how one would go about establishing this on a preponderance of evidence I don’t know.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Eric, the studies I looked at calculated sales displacement caused by illegal file trading while considering positive externalities associated with that illegal activity (i.e. how many pirated copies would not have been sales and thus should be considered deadweight costs in terms of transactions that never would have hapened)

    Again, keep in mind the studies I looked at mereley gave *projections* with some variation in exactly how much piracy affects music revenue. However, apart from the study Steve R cites above, I did find that the negative impact of piracy outweighs its benefits to the music industry- in contrast to public statements I’ve seen from Gary Shapiro and others.

  • http://weblog.ipcentral.info/ Noel Le

    Eric, the studies I looked at calculated sales displacement caused by illegal file trading while considering positive externalities associated with that illegal activity (i.e. how many pirated copies would not have been sales and thus should be considered deadweight costs in terms of transactions that never would have hapened)

    Again, keep in mind the studies I looked at mereley gave *projections* with some variation in exactly how much piracy affects music revenue. However, apart from the study Steve R cites above, I did find that the negative impact of piracy outweighs its benefits to the music industry- in contrast to public statements I’ve seen from Gary Shapiro and others.

  • eric

    I honestly don’t know, and I don’t take much stock in projections. My guess is that file sharing hits the successful pop artists in a substantial way, and that for jazz and certain other genres it may serve as a sales stimulus. There can’t be any simple answer. I don’t use p2p, but I know that my own downloading from music blogs has led to buying CDs. I also know that passing these tracks on to friends means they also bought CDs — CDs we would not otherwise have known even existed. Are there “lost sales”? In the big bad world, of course there are. I wish I could wave a magic wand and remove all the music that artists didn’t want shared from the various distribution networks. Then we could really have a definitive test.

    Nevertheless, whether it benefits the music *industry* or not isn’t, to my mind, the most important question.

  • eric

    I honestly don’t know, and I don’t take much stock in projections. My guess is that file sharing hits the successful pop artists in a substantial way, and that for jazz and certain other genres it may serve as a sales stimulus. There can’t be any simple answer. I don’t use p2p, but I know that my own downloading from music blogs has led to buying CDs. I also know that passing these tracks on to friends means they also bought CDs — CDs we would not otherwise have known even existed. Are there “lost sales”? In the big bad world, of course there are. I wish I could wave a magic wand and remove all the music that artists didn’t want shared from the various distribution networks. Then we could really have a definitive test.

    Nevertheless, whether it benefits the music *industry* or not isn’t, to my mind, the most important question.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14019452 Steve R.

    Noel: You wrote: “.. there’s a lot of academic research disagreeing with it.” Galileo in circa 1612 was opposed by the academic literature of the time. The church also was not happy with his work. He turned out to be correct!!!! Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf could be correct and their work, as with any other academic research, should not be simply dismissed because unnamed “others” disagree.

    What I find unfortunate in current journalism is that reporters simply regurgitate the position of a press release without thinking. I would like to see the reporters become a bit more independent and take responsibility for doing more research to provide a balanced analysis.

  • http://www2.blogger.com/profile/14380731108416527657 Steve R.

    Noel: You wrote: “.. there’s a lot of academic research disagreeing with it.” Galileo in circa 1612 was opposed by the academic literature of the time. The church also was not happy with his work. He turned out to be correct!!!! Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf could be correct and their work, as with any other academic research, should not be simply dismissed because unnamed “others” disagree.

    What I find unfortunate in current journalism is that reporters simply regurgitate the position of a press release without thinking. I would like to see the reporters become a bit more independent and take responsibility for doing more research to provide a balanced analysis.

  • Anonymous

    hi all,
    this is a very interesting debate! sorry, introductions first.. hi, i am bronte, i am studying the music industry in music extension as a senior subject and i wish to pursue it in uni (i want to study music technology) and i was wondering if i could use your opinions in my arguement supporting musicians and their rights in association with music piracy. if there is any information (whether it be website, or a contact in the music industry i can communicate with via email) it would be very much appreciated!!! (the assessment is due in june so chill haha)
    thanks ^_^
    ((07hopsib@mbc.qld.edu.au))

  • Anonymous

    hi all,
    this is a very interesting debate! sorry, introductions first.. hi, i am bronte, i am studying the music industry in music extension as a senior subject and i wish to pursue it in uni (i want to study music technology) and i was wondering if i could use your opinions in my arguement supporting musicians and their rights in association with music piracy. if there is any information (whether it be website, or a contact in the music industry i can communicate with via email) it would be very much appreciated!!! (the assessment is due in june so chill haha)
    thanks ^_^
    ((07hopsib@mbc.qld.edu.au))

  • http://www.JamNightJukebox.com jt

    IMHO, any artist looking to make a living from their art in this era must see that “the times, they are a changin’”. Just as the global economy has some looking for protection, others see the “greater good”. “File sharing” used to simply be making a casette tape of your buddies Pink Floyd album. Eventually, you would buy the album. A copied tape just ain’t the same. It is now simply easier to do, and you’ve got a lot more buddies. Some will abuse it, others will find music they never would have been exposed to before AND SUPPORT IT.

    Record labels themselves are an outdated notion. We don’t need professional recording studios and expensive duplication/distribution methods. And artists certainly do not need to sign their lives over to companies holding this carrot in front of them. Any real artist will make their art whether they believe it will be protected or not; whether they will be “fairly” compensated for it or not.

    The playing field is nearly level for all artists these days (except the radio). Fortunately for everyone, the record label promoted “talent” will no longer be the only ones that can make a living.

    The record labels are no more interested in protecting the rights of their “artists” than they are about producing great music. They are interested in protecting their pseudo-talented money machines.

    As the case used to be, go after those violating copyrights for monetary gain. Leave those who are simply enjoying the endless variety of art now available to them to do so. I truly believe that ultimately, good art is rewarded according to it’s worth. Let the people decide.

  • http://www.JamNightJukebox.com jt

    IMHO, any artist looking to make a living from their art in this era must see that “the times, they are a changin’”. Just as the global economy has some looking for protection, others see the “greater good”. “File sharing” used to simply be making a casette tape of your buddies Pink Floyd album. Eventually, you would buy the album. A copied tape just ain’t the same. It is now simply easier to do, and you’ve got a lot more buddies. Some will abuse it, others will find music they never would have been exposed to before AND SUPPORT IT.

    Record labels themselves are an outdated notion. We don’t need professional recording studios and expensive duplication/distribution methods. And artists certainly do not need to sign their lives over to companies holding this carrot in front of them. Any real artist will make their art whether they believe it will be protected or not; whether they will be “fairly” compensated for it or not.

    The playing field is nearly level for all artists these days (except the radio). Fortunately for everyone, the record label promoted “talent” will no longer be the only ones that can make a living.

    The record labels are no more interested in protecting the rights of their “artists” than they are about producing great music. They are interested in protecting their pseudo-talented money machines.

    As the case used to be, go after those violating copyrights for monetary gain. Leave those who are simply enjoying the endless variety of art now available to them to do so. I truly believe that ultimately, good art is rewarded according to it’s worth. Let the people decide.

  • Adam

    To Noel:

    it appears time and again you speak from a business perspective, when this issue is much more about the creative act of generating music.

    as a “piano player” (and i’ve known, and been friends with some amazing ones) you may want to consider (as most would tell you) that the regurgitation of long-dead composers’ art is not creation of art in and of itself.

    just food for thought

  • Adam

    To Noel:

    it appears time and again you speak from a business perspective, when this issue is much more about the creative act of generating music.

    as a “piano player” (and i’ve known, and been friends with some amazing ones) you may want to consider (as most would tell you) that the regurgitation of long-dead composers’ art is not creation of art in and of itself.

    just food for thought

  • http://eckenrodehouse.net nathan

    copyright was originally created in 1710 to benefit the authors of books in England, yet the true benefactors were the guild of craftsmen who actually produced the material objects, or reproduced as the cases truly were. in more modern and musical applications, the phonograph drove the publishers of sheet music out of business due to the technological innovations it brought to the market. yet, still a middleman reminded between the artist and his audience, the distributors of those phonographs and later the cassettes and cds.

    the music industry is not about selling music, it is really a music distribution industry, and with the digital distribution developing, the older method which has greater friction and thus greater inefficiency will has trouble competing. just like gutenburg shifted the labor market in music/book publishing by inventing the printing press.

  • http://eckenrodehouse.net nathan

    copyright was originally created in 1710 to benefit the authors of books in England, yet the true benefactors were the guild of craftsmen who actually produced the material objects, or reproduced as the cases truly were. in more modern and musical applications, the phonograph drove the publishers of sheet music out of business due to the technological innovations it brought to the market. yet, still a middleman reminded between the artist and his audience, the distributors of those phonographs and later the cassettes and cds.

    the music industry is not about selling music, it is really a music distribution industry, and with the digital distribution developing, the older method which has greater friction and thus greater inefficiency will has trouble competing. just like gutenburg shifted the labor market in music/book publishing by inventing the printing press.

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