Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stop Stealing

If you have music on your computer or mp3 player that you didn't buy, you're stealing. It's called "piracy." That comes from the root word "pirate." Like the people with guns who take people and ships hostage off the coast of Somaliland. That's a pirate. Not the innocent slackers on Veggie Tales.

Here's an interesting article from USAToday.com that talked about the recent success of U2's Horizon, despite internet piracy. Check out Bono's quotes in blue...

Despite a lukewarm reception to single Get on Your Boots, Caulfield expects Horizon to enjoy "a long chart life and long shelf life. There will be endless singles. They've got a big tour coming. U2 is a no-brainer."

Few doubt that piracy, a plague on all album sales (down 11.5% this year compared to 2008), siphoned profits from Horizon, which leaked online 13 days early. It was downloaded at least 445,000 times before its release, according to peer-to-peer monitoring firm BigChampagne.

Piracy grates on Bono, yet he's reluctant to lead a rebellion "because people think people like me are overpaid and overnourished, and they're not wrong," the U2 singer says. "What they're missing is, how does a songwriter get paid? There's no space for a Cole Porter in the modern age.

"It's not the place for rich rock stars to ask for more money, but somebody should fight for fellow artists, because this is madness. Music has become tap water, a utility, where for me it's a sacred thing, so I'm a little offended."

The Internet has emasculated rather than liberated artists, he says, noting that the record industry has lost billions in value.

"From punk rock to hip-hop, from heavy metal to country, musicians walk along with a smile and jump like lemmings into the abyss," he says. "The music business has been thrown to the dogs legislatively."

That indifference will vanish once "file-sharing of TV shows and movies becomes as easy as songs," Bono says. "Somebody is going to call the cops."

1 comment:

Chris said...

While I agree that illegal downloading is stealing, I don't think the artist is the one that suffers as much as the record execs. The percentages are pretty small on what an artist gets from album sales unless they are big sellers and can negotiate better percentages. I think the average musician makes less than 10% on album sales, and 10% is the high end.

The rebellious side of me says, "who cares if the execs make less money this year, download to your heart's content." I know that's a wrong response.

I think the best thing we can do to support artists is going to shows and buying merchandise, that's where they really make money.

But yeah, buying music is the right thing to do.