Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blog-Royale September 23

Some great opinions on file sharing in music. A worthwhile read!

Matt Bellamy to Lily Allen:

My current opinion is that file sharing is now the norm. This cannot be changed without an attack on perceived civil liberties which will never go down well. The problem is that the ISPs making the extreme profits (due to millions of broadband subscriptions) are not being taxed by the copyright owners correctly and this is a legislation issue. Radio stations and TV stations etc have to pay the copyright owners (both recording and publishing) a fee for using material they do not own. ISPs should have to pay in the same way with a collection agency like PRS doing the monitoring and calculations based on encoded (but freely downloaded) data. Broadband makes the internet essentially the new broadcaster. This is the point which is being missed.

Also, usage should have a value. Someone who just checks email uses minimal bandwidth, but someone who downloads 1 gig per day uses way more, but at the moment they pay the same. It is clear which user is hitting the creative industries and it is clear which user is not, so for this reason, usage should also be priced accordingly. The end result will be a taxed, monitored ISP based on usage which will ensure both the freedom of the consumer and the rights of the artists - the loser will be the ISP who will probably have to increase subscription costs to compensate, but the user will have the freedom to choose between checking a few emails (which will cost far less than a current monthly subscription) and downloading tons of music and film (which will cost probably a bit more than current subscription, but not that much more).

And Whitey on his blog:

A response to Patrick Wolfs response to Lily Allens Blog...

I have a slightly different view to Patrick. I think that this whole moment is a natural evolutionary extinction. Empires rise and fall, species come and go, there are huge seismic cultural changes going on but- so what. Its natural. Its happened. So- now what?

Yes- sales are as good as dead. But music itself is thriving, and what we have now is the widespread appreciation of music, of all types, by a generation with the greatest free musical banquet in history spread out in front of them.

Sales are dead- but live and ticket sales, merchandise... all healthy and thriving, bigger than before.

There is no point, no matter how well intentioned, to pleading for people to develop a sense of guilt and cease free sharing. I've said before- thats King Canute behaviour. Its too late, the genie is out of the bottle.

The reality is that now, musicians have to go out and play to make money. Your single, or album, is now a 'flyer' for the live experience.

And by living like this, musicans are now returning to the life of a musician, the real life that countless endless musicians lived over and over throughout history, since music was invented. You see, before this brief 'silly money' period of the last 60 years, musicans, like actors, or variety performers, or circus folk- had to go out and perform to survive. And if you wanted to hear it- you went to see it. Thats how it had been since somebody banged two sticks together around a fire.

Thats the real 'norm' of being a musician- thats the truth of it. The last 60 years were an exception to the rule. This is not the end of music- just the end of a strange era within musical history- the Pop era. Things are now going back to normal. To finish, I'll tell you why this may be good:

(1) To do it now, you have to love it.

(2) You will have to suffer to do it. This means the fakes, the opportunists, the fame-hungry empty souls, all no longer have any reason to clog up the air. Evolution is thinning the herd.

This puts the new musicians in the same boat as Leadbelly, or Robert Johnson, or the Jazz purists still carrying a torch since their era ended with the 1950's. Mozart died poor, remember? Basically- now you really have to BE a musician. You will do it because you love music. No frills, no Lear jet, no Ferrari collection. The surreal 20th century party is over.

Sure- moneys nice. But that not why I started, and you wont catch me whining online about my lawyers fees and the fact I cant buy a nice detached house in the country. That was never my mission objective.

I'll end this where I started- evolution:

Survival of the fittest is a powerful evolutionary force- it creates new forms, and it always pushes onwards, upwards.

How can that be a bad thing?