I feel that illegal downloading destroys music. Especially when its a new artist because they will get no money for the record they make and wont be offered to make a second record. I also feel that even artists that have been going for years get hurt because they need money for the work they have put into making a record and the people who helped contribute toward it. Its a lot more work than people think; writing, recording, engineering etc, etc.

 

What are your thoughts? Let the debating begin....

Tags: downloading, illegal

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artists already don't get much from selling albums, that all goes to the record label from what i understand. the real money is in live shows.


blakesp26 said:
artists already don't get much from selling albums, that all goes to the record label from what i understand. the real money is in live shows.

Yeah but a record company isnt going to pay for another record if the album doesnt sell
unless they have a decent contract. and after they do get dropped, if they made enough money from live shows they can pay to make their own record

Indiekid said:


blakesp26 said:
artists already don't get much from selling albums, that all goes to the record label from what i understand. the real money is in live shows.

Yeah but a record company isnt going to pay for another record if the album doesnt sell
It's a complex topic for sure.
I think that saying downloading destroys music is not exactly accurate. It destroys the cash machine that the industry morphed into during the 50's and later decades.
There are still a lot of talented, hungry, and poor musicians out there playing the Indy scene just hoping to catch your ear and they don't mind a bit if you download and share with your friends.
The opposite of that is the record industry using focus groups and psychologists to figure out how to "package" entertainment and lifestyle to get you to buy music and the lifestyle associated with it. (Hot Topic anyone?) Laced into nearly every entertainment choice we make now, whether it's HALO's music, a commercial jingle, iTunes suggestions on the home page everyday, or the music beamed into the speakers at Best Buy is a measured and calculated program to make our choices for us.
This is what supporting the industry gets us. More $ to help tell us what to listen to and buy.
So, I don't feel so bad about downloading some pop music from time to time. I'd probably eat Natasha Beddingfield's toenail clippings like popcorn since she's way hot and has some great cheekbones, and I like some of her music the way I like popcorn. But, she's way too corporate for me to donate any coin when I could toss it in a hat at a local show for a band I know is living on pork and beans and driving a Bluebird bus around the country without a heater WHILE playing kick ass music they actually wrote on beat up instruments.

I have a hard time buying anything signed onto a major label, Weezer included. I do, however, buy Weezer's CD's since I don't like arena/theater shows and won't attend big live shows at all (where I would buy a ticket, shwag, etc) where I would support the band. I still don't like even contributing a nickel to some record execs lifestyle or 4th home in the Aegean. But life is full of choices and that's what I choose for lack of a better option. If I could just download Hurley for free and paypal Weezer 10 bucks directly, I would.
But Weezer is at the extreme edge of what I like on the corporate end of things.
So, downloading is really not a big deal for me. Record and entertainment execs want to use subliminal programming and such to make me want the music, ok then. But, I'm not paying for all these manipulations.
I like to look at this a bit differently. Music can be viewed as a series of steps or instructions, like a recipe. I studied music theory in the past and the notation is fairly straight-forward. If someone has a piece of music written down (or memorized); it can be replicated on the instrument intended or other various instruments. This is similar to a cooking with a recipe. I could make chicken noodle soup in a pot on a stove-top range as directed, or if I wanted to, I could put all the ingredients on a sheet pan and put it in the oven. The later would most certainly produce something that would not be recognized as soup, but the ingredients remained the same. Taking this analogy out of the kitchen, I could play each part of Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" on the euphonium and it would still sound like the song, but the altered arrangement changes the overall "feel."

Now, my analogy at this point seems to have nothing to do with illegal downloading. We all know downloading music with copyright restrictions is currently illegal and in many circles is viewed as stealing. Despite the faux pas, downloading music is not stealing. When copying music, by the definition of "copy," each party involved ends up with an exact duplicate of the original product. At the point I became aware of this, viewing file sharing as stealing is silly. Record companies are trying to push this because they feel as if they are loosing a sale.

Oh wait, I think my viewpoint just changed! The record company IS loosing a sale because if file sharing didn't exist then the person downloading the album would have got in their car, drove to the nearest music store and bought the album on one of the wonderful physical formats that are offered!

I hope everyone is catching my sarcasm. First, it is a hypothetical situation which I am almost positive do not hold any ground in court. The fact is, the patron who buys music MAY have bought it or they may not. With the Internet, they will most certainly listen to it. Is that not what music is for?

It saddens me that people such as IndieKid feel that we are destroying music by listening to it. It is even more disturbing that we are wasting tax dollars hunting and prosecuting people for sharing music files. I would much prefer we send a crack-head to rehab, build a home for a bum or feed a hungry child. The music business needs to evolve and adapt to this new paradigm because it is not going anywhere. We created this interconnected web of computers for this very purpose (1). The Internet is now part of world culture and nearly every demographic has had to adapt a bit.

I mentioned cooking at the start and I need to point something out: recipes are not protected by US copyright law. In fact (a source here would be great), no creation defined by a series of instructions are protected by these laws. At the moment, music is not viewed this way by our lawmakers. It is my view, as a musician, culinary enthusiast and computer scientist, that these views should change.

It is important to remember why copyright laws are in place in the first place: to prevent plagiarism. I didn't write "Say it ain't so," so I shouldn't make money off it, but I still play it on my guitar, listen to it on last.fm or my music library or arrange it for dueling euphoniums and Eigenharp, but it doesn't compare to the original and I will still go see Weezer.

I recently viewed a video that views the issue in a similar fashion on TED.com (2). Johanna Blakley argues that creativity grows (and profit margins) as artists are "allowed" to share. I completely agree. Musical recordings opened the door to the "cover song's cousin," the remix. Many genres of music would not exist if remixing was not allowed. Many remixes are more creative then the original; personally, I get excited when I see 'remix' tagged on to the end of a song title. Instead of learning about one artist, I'm learning about two.

This issue is still new ground for law makers and history has shown us, it will not change soon. For those who have ideals similar to mine, it is comforting to know we're not alone.

In conclusion, sharing is good people! It's funny how much we forget from kindergarten as we get older.

----
1. http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/~acc/docs/arpa.html
2. http://blog.ted.com/2010/05/25/lessons_from_fa/
Well, as I see it, this both helps and hurts the artist at the same time.

Not going the label route does ensure that the artist receives a larger percentage of the cut, but it also leaves the artist with more responsibilities and having to put more of their own money (that they may or may not have) in order to get their music out there. Paying for studio time, producers, a roadie crew, getting the cd pressed, marketing/advertising your band and cd. All that stuff has to be paid by someone, I think in the old ways of doing things record labels put front that money for the artist once they picked them up on their label, but I'll admit I don't know exactly how it all worked.

And at the same time, while the artist gets more money from the album, the artist may sell less and end up not making that much in the first place. Not everyone who actually downloads albums and listens to your music is going to pay for it. As an artist you have to be willing to put your money out there to get your music out there and you have to be willing to actually LOSE money in the process. Your music may hit the internet or iTunes but it may not hit big channels of traffic like television or mainstream radio.

It's also possible that bands now-a-days are not going to ever become "big name acts" like a lot of the bands you find on major labels of the past. It's been said that they make most of their money off touring and merch, but the amount a band can charge for a venue will be much less if they're on their own.

But the positive spin is you CAN get your music out there without the help of a label. But it takes more determination to make it happen if you do it on your own. Just getting your name out there would probably require a lot of touring, which you'll probably be paying for all the food/travel/etc. yourself. Of course that's how it was before, but I think once a label picked you up they paid for a lot of that themselves. Then again, what they paid for may have come from total profits from sales of the album anyway. *shrug*

I'm not really all that well informed though, I mean I don't know the facts, I don't work in the business. But I find the business fascinating and wish I knew more.

I don't know how you make money in it though... lol.


j-biebs said:
blake is correct in that most musicians make very little from album sales. the real money is in touring, merch, and music licensing. for someone named 'indiekid,' you don't seem to grasp the concept behind 'indie.'

(source)

there are a wealth of problems in the music industry, and after screwing artists for years it's now the major labels' turn to get screwed. illegal downloading has exposed all of this because the labels have demonized it, as they are the ones losing money.

if anything, illegal downloading is beneficial to most artists, because it encourages people to discover music without having to pay for it first. i'm sure plenty of people here know what its like to blindly buy an album because you like the single, only to find out that the rest is garbage. illegal downloading has made that a thing of the past. i can only speak for myself, but i've purchased far more albums and seen more bands than i otherwise would have if i didn't download music.

new artists have discovered that they don't need to play the label game in order to get their music out. there are tons of new DIY bands out there that are incredibly successful on a small scale, because they don't lose 3/4ths of their money to managers, labels, etc. it has made it possible (and even crucial) for artists to interact directly with their fans, and that benefits everyone.

and just because i think it's interesting, and relevant, here's a breakdown of what artists make selling their music online.

(source)

"indie" is short for independent, but in recent years has morphed into a style of music


Arthur said:
I like to look at this a bit differently. Music can be viewed as a series of steps or instructions, like a recipe. I studied music theory in the past and the notation is fairly straight-forward. If someone has a piece of music written down (or memorized); it can be replicated on the instrument intended or other various instruments. This is similar to a cooking with a recipe. I could make chicken noodle soup in a pot on a stove-top range as directed, or if I wanted to, I could put all the ingredients on a sheet pan and put it in the oven. The later would most certainly produce something that would not be recognized as soup, but the ingredients remained the same. Taking this analogy out of the kitchen, I could play each part of Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" on the euphonium and it would still sound like the song, but the altered arrangement changes the overall "feel."

Now, my analogy at this point seems to have nothing to do with illegal downloading. We all know downloading music with copyright restrictions is currently illegal and in many circles is viewed as stealing. Despite the faux pas, downloading music is not stealing. When copying music, by the definition of "copy," each party involved ends up with an exact duplicate of the original product. At the point I became aware of this, viewing file sharing as stealing is silly. Record companies are trying to push this because they feel as if they are loosing a sale.

Oh wait, I think my viewpoint just changed! The record company IS loosing a sale because if file sharing didn't exist then the person downloading the album would have got in their car, drove to the nearest music store and bought the album on one of the wonderful physical formats that are offered!

I hope everyone is catching my sarcasm. First, it is a hypothetical situation which I am almost positive do not hold any ground in court. The fact is, the patron who buys music MAY have bought it or they may not. With the Internet, they will most certainly listen to it. Is that not what music is for?

It saddens me that people such as IndieKid feel that we are destroying music by listening to it. It is even more disturbing that we are wasting tax dollars hunting and prosecuting people for sharing music files. I would much prefer we send a crack-head to rehab, build a home for a bum or feed a hungry child. The music business needs to evolve and adapt to this new paradigm because it is not going anywhere. We created this interconnected web of computers for this very purpose (1). The Internet is now part of world culture and nearly every demographic has had to adapt a bit.

I mentioned cooking at the start and I need to point something out: recipes are not protected by US copyright law. In fact (a source here would be great), no creation defined by a series of instructions are protected by these laws. At the moment, music is not viewed this way by our lawmakers. It is my view, as a musician, culinary enthusiast and computer scientist, that these views should change.

It is important to remember why copyright laws are in place in the first place: to prevent plagiarism. I didn't write "Say it ain't so," so I shouldn't make money off it, but I still play it on my guitar, listen to it on last.fm or my music library or arrange it for dueling euphoniums and Eigenharp, but it doesn't compare to the original and I will still go see Weezer.

I recently viewed a video that views the issue in a similar fashion on TED.com (2). Johanna Blakley argues that creativity grows (and profit margins) as artists are "allowed" to share. I completely agree. Musical recordings opened the door to the "cover song's cousin," the remix. Many genres of music would not exist if remixing was not allowed. Many remixes are more creative then the original; personally, I get excited when I see 'remix' tagged on to the end of a song title. Instead of learning about one artist, I'm learning about two.

This issue is still new ground for law makers and history has shown us, it will not change soon. For those who have ideals similar to mine, it is comforting to know we're not alone.

In conclusion, sharing is good people! It's funny how much we forget from kindergarten as we get older.

----
1. http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/~acc/docs/arpa.html
2. http://blog.ted.com/2010/05/25/lessons_from_fa/

In my opinion youre just trying to defend yourself because you are too cheap to pay for a record. My argument may just be based on opinion but illegal downloading of music IS steling as is the illegal downloading of movies and tv shows.
well tv is being destroyed...just not by illegal downloading, but by the people who created crap like reality shows.



j-biebs said:
but how is it destroying music? are tv shows and movies also being destroyed?

Indiekid said:

In my opinion youre just trying to defend yourself because you are too cheap to pay for a record. My argument may just be based on opinion but illegal downloading of music IS steling as is the illegal downloading of movies and tv shows.
Spot-on.

j-biebs said:
sure, because it's cheaper to create "reality" shows than scripted television.
same with movies, it's easier to remake and rebrand concepts that worked in the past.
and in the music industry, you have album re-releases, deluxe editions, etc.

it's not about putting out quality work, it's about making money. this is why the major labels and studios are fighting piracy so hard, because it's making it harder to put out crap and forcing people to pay for it to get the content.

what indiekid doesn't seem to realize is that there are countless musicians and filmmakers out there that are still doing what they love on their own, despite, and even because of rampant piracy. music isn't being destroyed. if anything, it's easier for people to get their music out to the world now than it has ever been in the past, because it's possible to do it all on your own. bands that embrace current technology can spread their music quickly and easily. will they ever be mega rockstars? no, but they can still create music.

frankly i don't understand how anyone can argue on behalf of companies that have been screwing both artists and the record-buying public over for decades.

SPAZMATIK1 said:
well tv is being destroyed...just not by illegal downloading, but by the people who created crap like reality shows.



j-biebs said:
but how is it destroying music? are tv shows and movies also being destroyed?

Indiekid said:

In my opinion youre just trying to defend yourself because you are too cheap to pay for a record. My argument may just be based on opinion but illegal downloading of music IS steling as is the illegal downloading of movies and tv shows.


j-biebs said:
no, you're wrong.
"indie" is not a style of music. if you disagree, please describe the musical style of "indie."
Indiekid said:
"indie" is short for independent, but in recent years has morphed into a style of music

The meaning of the term "indie rock" is contested today by many musicians, fans and commentators. Some use the term "indie" to describe any music produced by artists working within the network of independent record labels and underground music venues that emerged in the United States and elsewhere in 1980's and 1990's. Others understand indie rock as a distinct genre of rock music with a specific artistic aesthetic, and care less about the context in which it is made. Many embrace both meanings of the word, believing that the aesthetics of the genre and its means of production are deeply intertwined
OK i kind of see what you mean. But i just wanted to let you know that i only THINK its destroying music, i have never researched it and have no proof but i still believe you should pay for music. Im also impressed at how eager you are to prove a point.

PS Isnt wkipedia amazing?


j-biebs said:
i realize you're never going to come back to this, but i was listening to npr yesterday evening when i heard an interesting story. sadly i can't find anything about it online, so the numbers are coming from memory.

basically they were interviewing this company called bigchampagne, who have found a way to track music streams online, and their charts for that are quickly becoming as important as stuff like soundscan and billboard. anyway, the discussion went to album sales, and how they are terribly low right now, obviously.

however, the most interesting part (i thought) was when the dude pointed out that MORE albums are being released now than in (i think) 2000. the numbers were something like 180,000 albums released this year vs. 50,000 in 2000. if that's not proof of the fact that music isn't being destroyed i don't know what is.

if i ever find a proper source for this i shall provide it.

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