the music industry has launched a site called what's the download which appears to be aimed at scaring people into stopping downloading, by implying that one day the police'll come knocking on your door to getcha. it's not as heavy handed as that, but when you come across something that says "the larger issue here is that we might only download a few tunes, but what happens when millions of other people do too? That's millions of songs that aren't being paid for, creating a world where producing and distributing new music suffers from financial challenges. So, by downloading even a couple of songs illegally, we are putting the future of music at risk, " which implies that unchecked downloading will kill off the music industry, it has pretty much run off the even handed debate and straight into fear mongering. i mean, really, the death of the music industry, what a load of shit. we should all be praying for the death of the pop music industry as it is... i mean, really, who would miss justin timberlake?
in fact, if i was sure that downloading justin timberlake's songs would end his career, i'd organise an event.
Coming Soon: Download to Destroy Justin.
tell your friends.
it's probably no surprise to people that i support downloading. i think it's fantastic. it's a tool that people can use to listen to the music they want to hear, and that they have total control over. no surfing, skipping, wanting to hear something specific.
i also think that one of the problems with downloading from a company point of view is that they have no control over it. they can't obtain money from it, and they do not get to work their advertising mojo on us. from my point of view, downloading music isn't the problem. music is everywhere: in your car, in the supermarket, the office, the public toilets, constantly pressed against us. and it is free, in so much as we don't pay to hear it. but it's distribution to us has been paid for as part of an advertising campaign, and in our world it is stringently controlled in how it is presented to us.
people might disagree with that. i find myself willing to do it. but consider this: i saw an interview with nickleback once, and the lead singer was standing there saying that at the height of their success with their single of utter crapness, it was calculated that the song, around the world, played on a radio stations every three minutes. so since it was a three minute song, once it finished, it started up again, somewhere. it was, essentially, an endless loop of nickleback on a world wide scale. now this is probably not true, but still, anyway you look at it, there was a lot of free, controlled nickleback in the world. anyone who suffered listening to that song will currently be having pain filled flashes in their head, and remember, it was aimed at making us buy it... yet the question worth asking, i think, is if it's really obtaining music for free that is the issue when something like this nickleback song goes around (and you can change that right now for that bland stupidity of the 'hey yeah' song by outkast) or is it the way in which one gets music by cutting out corporations and advertising plans that is causing the ruckus?
(of course, you might say i'm on crack, and that the two aren't comparable. one is advertising and you don't get to keep a copy, after all, and one is downloading and keeping. i think the difference isn't that big a deal, especially when you can call up radio station and request a song in an action that is more than a little similar to logging into kazaa and searching for a song to download. not all songs are there (and i frequently get frustrated by that) just as not all songs will be played on the radio.)
i don't think, either, that whatsthedownload.com will do anything to stop downloading, just as i don't think suing teenagers will either. downloading is here to stay, the new way for youth to swap music for the most part. i freely admit to downloading music, but mostly i don't have the time to go a whole album, and there's dozens of bugs to pick up from using kazaa that kind of pisses me off, so i usually download a couple of samples to figure out if i like it. but teenagers have the time, just as i had the time to make copies of albums for my friends ten years ago in highschool, and they had the time for me, and just like i had the time to videotape movies off the telly and allow my friends to borrow said illegal copies. there's nothing new in downloading, except perhaps that you can now see that three million people are doing it, but then i suspect that throughout the world, three million people were always making illegal copies of music for other people.
the death of the single is what is needed.
i've a theory on what could cut back on downloading whole albums. obviously, you're never going to stop it totally, but if you want to make a serious attempt to tone it down, then release singles onto the web for free. a single usually comes with three other songs, and they, of course, would go out there too. put them on the band site, dump them into the peer to peer networks, whatever. just give them away. i find it hard to believe that selling them for two or five bucks is going to make a huge profit, so why not just do this?
that, of course, might not work. it was just an idea the occurred to me towards the end here, and i thought i'd chuck it in. the post was a bit of a throw in everything anyhow.