Long before the Internet existed, we used to tape music.
We’d hear a tune we liked, and we’d take our little tape
recorders, and tape it.
Sometimes we’d be able to borrow an album and tape off
the songs we liked, leaving those we didn’t.
Lots of people liked to run their cassettes as they drove
hearing what they wanted when they wanted.
I never thought of it as any crime, as denying an artiste
money for his work, I thought of it as convenient.
Where I live, people made a living going to dances, taping
music, and selling copies to minivan drivers. The driver
with the latest sounds often got the most passengers.
There was never an idea of copyright, of owing royalties.
After all, it was reasoned, the artiste got paid when he
sang, he got money when the recordings sold, and taking
a tune here, a tune there, was helping him get famous.
Of course the big bellied men who owned recording
companies didn’t see it like that.
That is because they are the ones who make the money.
An Artiste gets a few cents, the writer of the music, a few
cents, in fact everyone who does anything on that record
gets a few cents. The record companies get the dollars.
So let us cut the crap; it is the recording company who
loses the most when you copy a song.
That was how it was before the Internet, before downloads
and CDs and all the rest of it.
There is nothing new about the arguments today concerning
downloading music then there were in the eighties about
And no difference in how the money is divided.
What is new, is the ability of an artiste to cut out the
big bellied man and his recording company. This is
what the fear really is.
After all, if I don’t need a contract to produce music,
then no one can stop me. No one can decide whether
I’m good enough or not, except, the public.
I don’t have to spend my time begging a contract, or
studio time, having someone decide whether or not
I’m good enough, or the public should hear me.
I can spend my time writing and performing my music
as I want it to be.
So here is the first revolution;
Freedom to produce whatever music you want.
And this freedom is coupled with the ability to put
your music out for download.
No manager, agent, advisor, no record company, nothing…
just you, your music. No middle men. Just you.
Clearly this will put a serious hurting on recording
companies, and all the others who live off the creativity
of an artiste.
This is not a bad thing.
Firstly, an artiste without a contract has to perform to make
money. So more live performances, maybe cheaper performances,
and selling a copy of the performance within a few minutes
of it’s finale.
So those who have just heard and enjoyed it can buy a just
burnt CD or pay a smalls to have it dl’d to their ipods or
whatever, before they leave the venue.
Those who missed the concert can, for a smalls, be connected
to the artiste’s site, and make the down load.
Put it like this.
If it is cheaper and more convenient for me to give you
a couple of dollars for the music, then I’ll do it.
The artiste has been paid to perform. We have paid to see
the performance. If it’s good and we want to relive that
experience, then we’ll pay a couple of dollars for the fresh
recording. If we feel it is a rip, we won’t pay.
But the artiste who doesn’t have to share his money will
actually make more doing it this way. He has control over
Instead of the huge concert to bring in 50k fans, there
could be a lot of smaller concerts in an area, because
some of the money won’t be from the ticket sales, it
will be from the selling of merchandise.
So, cheaper venue, smaller venue, more performances,
able to purchase the music you just heard, what could
be better for the fan?
And the artiste won’t find himself slapped with all sorts
of bills he thought the record company would take care of.
The only one who loses when one downloads a song for free,
or trades music over the internet, for free, is the big bellied
man and his exploitative company.