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Pirating MP3's


The NZA
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Alright, before this one gets started in another thread, i wanna discuss it here.  

While back, Courtney Love did a great article on MP3's and what the recording studios should do.  Ill bring up the few points i remember, cant find it now, sadly.

One idea, tho, was that perhaps the recording labels should, rather than ignore/attempt to destroy the problem, pay attention to what people are mixing, and capitalize on that.  Even with CD burners these days, the cost of a CD at Best Buy when it first shows up is still less than $15 most times; if it had a variety of tracks i like - specifically, only the ones i wanted - it'd be much easier than downloading incomplete tracks, etc, and packaging/cd booklets are always cool.

So one idea was: Why are artists still forced in contracts to churn out albums, destined to have a few great songs, but more often than not (especially with double albums, i think) crammed with filler tunes?  These are the reaons CD Exchange places are filled with big name albums that, past their radio single, were kinda weak.

So, how bout an artist just puts out singles when theyre ready (assuming theyve got some form of mass appeal)? You go to your respective music joint, and pay per each single, obviously some more than others (cheap, add-in/finish off your album songs might also help get lil guys exposure that the radio won't give em).  

I wanna hear more on this & attacks on MP3's, i personally think if Metallica was still a garage band, then yeah bitch, but goin after some of their fans the way they did...that struck me as just selling out.  

On sales & slimy recording studios, Jack said this:

 

Artists who get angry about their music being pirated are record label tools. Performing artists make the vast majority of their money from live performances, not record sales. Record Labels make most of the money from the record sales. Even big name artists never make more than a dollar per album sold (unless they record under their own record label), in fact, most make no more than a few cents per album sold. The record companies push artists to make it look like they really care about pirating and that it hurts the artist when you download mp3s.

 

...pretty much just want Love said, as far as the artists gettin their money.  I cant argue with much here; im just happy to here from some musician friends that nowadays, its becomin more and more economically possible to set up your own studio in home, thanks to cheaper/more efficent software, such as Midi programs & such.  For years, i think the recording lables have chewed up talent, exploited it & spit it out; im not losing any sleep if they actually did lose money, its the artists im concerened about.  

What's everyone else think?  Are we hurting the artists, what with concerts still selling the way they do (I recall Tori Amos & a few others actually greatful for the exposure MP3s gave them, maybe thats an exception?)?  Also, feel free to comment on that singles idea, i wanna hear more bout it.

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I couldn't agree more with the article, I think it's dead on.  Only thing I'll say is that i know that artists get little to no money off of cd sales, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't buy any cds.  I always buy the cd from smaller bands that need to sell.  Sure, the band gets no money, but do you think they will get to make another cd if the first one doesn't sell?  They may not directly make money fof the cds, but sales greatly affect a band's future.  I have no problem with any of Love's suggestions, I agree wholeheartedly.  Mp3's haven't been lowering sales in the slightest, they are only a danger to bands that fill their cds with shit.  Without mp3's I wouldn't have been exposed to lots of my favorite bands, and I wouldn't listen to half the great stuff I do now.  The first thing I do when I hear of a band that might be good is a download a few songs, and if they're worth it, I often buy the cd.  I burn plenty of cds, sure, but I always buy stuff form my favorites and from smaller bands, and if the band has more than one cd, I usually have at least one legit.  More than I would have if I'd never heard of them before.  The idea of paying for custom compilations has been thrown around and I think it would work really well if record stores would do it.  There are people like my brother who dont buy cds simply because they just like hearing the singles.  They'd gladly shell out for a custom compilation cd if there was a good selection of stuff.  I don't know what's she's talking about when she says MP3s sound "cruddy", and she couldnt find obscure stuff, this must have been written when this was just starting cause I can't tell the difference between an mp3 at a good bitrate now, and I've been able to find some really obscure shit.  I also like the idea of musicians basically working for tips.  If they're good they shouldn't have to worry about people not paying them.

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Good article, I do adore that lady. Outspoken and intelligent. :D

 

Don't agree with everything though. She mentions that bootlegged t-shirts get bought becuase they are better distributed, rubbish, its because they are much cheaper. Same reason people burn whole albums off the internet, same reason people DL movies rather than taking a trip to the video store. CDs are far too expensive. Its the reason single sales is dominated by children who don't have enough money to spend for the whole albums.

 

My solution to this whole moral hell would be a internet pay-service type thing where each track costs a small amount and the selection rivals Audiogalaxy. I think people would be willing to pay in this situation. Unfortunately, with the record companies so scared of change I'm going to continue Junk's approach, DL and burn CDs as well as buying them when I really want them.

 

:D  Remember kids, home taping is killing the record industry!

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I read that article Love wrote about a year and a half ago when I wrote a paper on mp3 piracy for an english class (which I also have an oral presentation on). I used it as the primary inspriration for my thesis. I also used this piece of information as evidence:

 

The Offspring made headlines when they bacame the first multi-platinum artist to release full-length versions of every song on their new album (Conspiracy Of One) on their website, and 3 weeks before it's release in store no less. The Offspring have been outspoken in their belief that the availablity of pirated songs on the internet does not effect record sales, and they think of the internet as a way to reach new fans, which is the whole point to their making music in the first place. And for the record, Conspiracy Of One sold more what the label predicted (based on projections made before The Offspring announced that they were releasing the songs online first).

 

That pretty much says it all.

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