Saturday, 6 October 2007

Greedy Music Labels

Two big music stories that broke on the same day, both concerning downloading music.
Story one was a lady in America ordered to pay £108,000 after six record companies sued her for sharing 1,702 songs by downloading them without permission and then offering them online through Kazaa.
Story number two was Radiohead asking fans to name their price for the new album, In Rainbows.
The bands website is asking users to decide how much they want to pay, starting from nothing with the only required cost will be a 45p administration charge.
The first story gets my hackles up because any billion pound industry coming down so heavily on a member of the general public is always going to get my hackles up. This one especially because 'Downloading' in one form or another has been going on for generations.
I'm glad the music industry lawyers didn't come around my house when I was recording
portions of the Top 40 from the radio onto my tape recorder.
To my understanding it is not the downloading that is illegal, it is the sharing part and making your files available from your PC. Any clarification would be nice from anyone knowledgeable in this.
Secondly, anyone screwing a billion pound industry is always going to get me passing on my support. It is common knowledge that the actual artists make very little from CD sales and the vast majority of the price we pay in the shops ends up in the back pockets of the record label. Wikipeadia puts the total artists' share ass between 10% and 12% of the retail price of an album/single. That is to share between writer, singer, musicians, etc.
If Radiohead can bypass the greedy labels and put out there own music and keep all the money given themselves(minus web costs), then i say good for them and hope it inspires a few more bands to do the same.


Joe the Troll said...

My friends and I used to copy each other's LPs on cassette, because we couldn't afford EVERYTHING we liked, and we did so without fear of prosecution. We kept buying records. too. Now that all this litigious shit is happening, I've soured on buying CDs almost entirely, in favor of the legal practice of swapping bootlegs. I'll support my favorite artists if and when they do a concert here.

As far as pricing goes, it also pisses me off when an artist bypasses the record company and sells their music online at the same price I'd pay in a store. If I don't get a break from the artist for eliminating the middleman, I'll buy it from the store if I want it that badly. Middlemen have kids to feed, too, and keeping the price the same when there's no distribution or retail markup is just greedy.

Lucyp said...

Agreed which is why i think Radiohead may have hit upon a good idea here.

O' Tim said...

Cool - so the question to toss back to Radiohead is "How much of a raise do you guys want/think you deserve?"