an opinionated rant about the dying record industry, in the eyes of a grumpy gen Y consumer

**DISCLAIMER** has some mild swearing in it

It’s been brought to my attention that there is an attempt to sneak the guilt-upon-accusation law for downloading copyrighted material back into the legal system. This has so much potential to be abused it is unbelieveable. Even if the plan has simply been initiated by RIAA lobbysts so the fatcats of big label America and England can still swim in the money they make from artists who are, by and large, mediocre at best, their money-making practices are practically taking a shit all over the consumers who still prefer to pay for music. The people I have talked to about torrenting music and file sharing albums have said they have no qualms about treating the record industry this way because of the way the record industry is treating them.

I still prefer to pay for music, with real money, than I make from my job, but there have been times, when for one reason or another I have had to go about my acquisition on the sly. It’s not solely a case of ‘there’s not cheaper price than $0.00’. I’d still be happy to pay for it music if the industry would just bloody well sell it properly! I think there needs to be a top-down restructure of how the music indusry operates if they want to get any money:

1. De-localize and stop the staggered release of music worldwide – in the digital age it’s not too difficult to put the album online all over the world at the same time!!

2. Restructure the pricing plan for record sales that that enough money goes to the artist that they can actually make a living from it (and not just touring and merch) – instead of having exorbident ammounts going to the record label.

3. If you’re going to release an album on a physical format, don’t just put out a 1-disc copy of the album and then release a deluxe version six months later. Make the digital version the normal one and bring out the deluxe version in stores with extra content, special packaging. Customers are sick of the ‘normal release first, deluxe version later’ tactic and are much less likely to pay for music if they feel like they are being fucked about by the label. Who knows, if the big labels stopped treating us like thieves and mindless sheep they may actually get a few customers back! To be honest I’m unimpressed by the advent of two deluxe edition releases at the start of this month from who camps who I thought might have known better than to make their fans buy the same thing twice, admittedly, one of those artists did follow my above principal with their initial physical release of the new album, but I’m still a bit crotchety about having to buy another copy of the original CD just to get the extra content.

5.I think the music should be the property of the people who damn well made it. Artists may be ok with people torrenting their music, but the RIAA will still sue them into oblivion no matter what.

6. The record labels need to acknowlege and accept the existance of bedroom remixers. Some of them actually do a much better job than big name remixers. Anyone ever heard this version of Imogen Heap’s Hide And Seek?

or seen this fan mashup of the movie Cage and the Fever Ray song Concrete Walls?

The remix culture is a growing pehnomenon, with the cheapening of technology and the postmodernism of generation Y it’s not going to change anytime soon.

7. How dare the copyright lawmakers try and charge money for rongtones, and 30 second previews in iTunes! people have a hard enough time finding out about new music while avioding wasting money on purile shit and you want them to pay for the 10-30 second snippets that are not only uninformative, but play throughout tinny, low quality, easily distorted speakers all over the world!? That is the kind of behaviour is what is more likely to drive me to rely solely on filesharing for my music, at least I can listen to it on a decent sound system!

8. The only way the industry can sell a digital album for the price of a CD is if there is enough content at a high enough quality to warrant it.

If the record industry can just get off it’s lardy ass and see that these things are not only plausible, but actually might increase their profits, they might give us all a brighter future for music.

If anyone wants proof that I pay for music, sit tight, I’ll put up some photos.


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