One of the primary arguments AGAINST the finger-pointing at file sharing is that many of the albums "stolen" were done by people who would have never bought the album - it's people checking it out because there is a "free" way to do so. I think that's much more applicable on a major act basis though - I think there are plenty of people guilty of downloading an album they would legitimately pay for. I do think services like Spotify are the answer (I've been a subscriber for nearly a year, and I have not illegally downloaded one thing in that year).
I know that that is kind of a cliche argument, but honestly, since I opened myself up to downloading (which was only about a year ago), I've gotten into so many more artists that I probably would have otherwise, and these are artists that I've gone back and dropped more money on in the form of t-shirts, tickets, and CDs. And here's the thing, my interest in those artists led me to check out similar or complimentary acts, who I also then gave money to. So, yeah, it's a very overused position, maybe, but it's also one that holds up. I don't make a ton of money after bills and expenses, but realistically a good third of my disposable income (which includes money for groceries) goes towards supporting artists. So it's not like I'm a lazy freeloading consumer; I really do just use it to make more informed decisions on where and who I spend it on.
|We have similar views on supporting music, but here's the big issue: we as consumers think we get to decide how the business works. This is a problem that only occurs in digital media - any other product can be regulated within reason. It shouldn't be our call whether we pay for it or not - the technology of today has just made it so we can steal easier.|
Yeah I mean, this is a difficult post to respond to in the limited amount of time I have, but I guess at the end of the day I just view listening to a song on my iPod that I didn't pay for the same way I do streaming music that a band readily puts on the Internet for free. Like I said, it's just a method of previewing music to determine what I like and want to continue pursuing. I just listen to all my music on my iPod (or on rare occasion vinyl), so it's just how I go about listening to it instead of streaming it on BandCamp or something, which is what I'd be doing instead (I don't have a smartphone, so that's not an option).
|I get that bands are accepting of it - I encourage the bands I manage to view this as a reality and to find new ways to profit, because it's not going to change. That said, it bothers me when music fans are so open and heartless about it - at least show a little class and don't openly brag about it. We should be a little disgusted that it's gotten to the point where bands have to accept it.|
I mean, is it heartless? I'm a little put off by the fact that you think I was bragging about not paying for music. Especially considering one of those bands still got ten dollars from me for a $5 t-shirt that same night. But if a band wants me to listen to them badly enough that they'll give me a couple of mp3s for free, I don't see the problem. I don't write or record music as often as I'd like, but if I were doing it more regularly I'd absolutely do the same thing. My point in even mentioning that wasn't to show off how many free albums I get (or whatever you think I was trying to say), but just that it's becoming more and more obvious that putting music out there digitally is simply not a worthwhile commodity for most people.
At this point, digital music - the actual songs and albums - are being used primarily as promotional materials by smaller bands to make a name for themselves and garner interest. Again, it's not that I'm trying to be greedy about it, but if I spent all day at work listening to Bandcamp on my computer, songs that artists willingly publish knowing that the won't get paid every time someone listens to them, no one would have a problem with it. And it's the same thing with physical CD-Rs and used CDs. I burned my friend the new Mumford and Sons album the other day, so he'll be able to listen to those songs for free. And I bought some used vinyl at a thrift store, so that means some wholly unrelated third party will make some money off the sale of that band's music, but they won't see a cent. Yet doing this never seems to draw the ire of people who get so worked up about free digital files. And I've just never seen an even halfway decent argument that can tell me how they're any different.