Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hyprocrisy, thy Name is....?

I love the music industry when artists are getting paid, which is why I am a big advocate of subscription-based legal downloading as a paradigm. Services like e-music are beyond excellent. I get cool music and a low price, artists get paid, everyone is happy... hopefully. When artists don't get paid, well then you gotta wonder. Which is why I always tell my students that if they really want to support the artists, buy records directly from them or their website and a t-shirt: the profit margins are kept high and you aren't necessarily funding some suit's coke habit. A musican's coke habit? Well, you never know, but at least that artist rocked your world for a while.

Which is why I just loved this post at Idolator about how the RIAA explains to college students why they should stop illegally downloading music
Last week, the RIAA conducted a conference call with various college-newspaper writers, with whom they discussed their strategies for cracking down on campus downloaders. Emcees Without Voices obtained a transcript of the chat, and now everybody can watch as RIAA president Cary Sherman and executive VP (and general counsel) Steven Marks try to school the younguns on why students should put down the apple bong and call up their lawyer.

Sherman's opening remarks set the tone for the chat, the thrust of which boils down to: Ohmigod, guys! Your favorite artists are, like, soooooo mad at you! To wit: "Many of you probably have a favorite local band on your campus. If music theft is allowed to continue at such unacceptably high levels, the chances of those bands getting signed to a record label deal will continue to diminish." When you consider that this is coming from an industry that has long bullied emerging artists into crippling, unfairly balanced contracts, and that has reduced A departments to the size of a jazz trio, and that has put financial muscle behind doomed-to-fail megastars whose paychecks swallow up the entire roster's budget, then...well, then, we actually forgot the point. Oh yeah: Dicks!
Mean spirited? Yes. Accurate? In too many cases... yes.

And remember: keep buying those CDs and stickers next time you are at the show.

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